Formula SAE Data Acquisition and Detailed Analysis of a Lap 2020-01-0544
Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) International is a student design competition organized by SAE. The student design involves engineering and manufacturing a formula style racecar and evaluating its performance. Testing and validation of the vehicle is an integral part of the design and performance during the competition. At the collegiate level the drivers are at the amateur level. As a result, the human factor plays a significant role in the outcome of the dynamic events. In order to reduce the uncertainty factor and improve the general performance, driver training is necessary. Instead of overall performance of the driver based on individual lap, our current research focuses on the more detailed components of the driver’s actions throughout different sections of the lap. A complete lap consists of several components, such as, straight line acceleration and braking, max and min radius cornering, slalom or “S” movements, and bus stops or quick braking and turning. In order to evaluate the performance of each driver in each of these components, an AiM data acquisition system is mounted in the vehicle with a multitude of sensors attached to it, allowing for everything the driver touches to be recorded as well as dynamic forces seen by the vehicle. The data collected reveals the strengths and weaknesses of individual drivers in comparison to others as well as indications of the performance of the driver in comparison to the capability and safety of the race car itself, such as the limiting speed during cornering. It can also be used to improve the design of the racecar itself. For the results to be statistically significant, many testing sessions were collected and analyzed with multiple drivers. This data is used to improve the drivers’ as well as vehicle performance.