CAD based Optimization of a Race Car Front Wing 2020-01-0624
The aerodynamics of the front wing of modern race cars are critical to the performance of the vehicle. The Formula 1 line up represents the state of the art in this field. There some very complex aerodynamic designs on display. It is stranger, however, that there is no agreement on whether the multiple wing sections of the front wing should be twisted in or out. This paper will address this question by posing it as an optimization problem. The geometry of the wings will be simplified so that the twist of the upper sections can be studied in isolation. The whole assembly will consist of only two high lift surfaces. The forward wing will remain fixed for the study and the focus will be on the twist of the secondary wing. Its geometry will be generated by lofting a set of cross sections at specified angles to create the surface. The resulting geometry will be automatically meshed and then evaluated using CFD. This fully automated process will then be executed by an optimization algorithm to establish an ideal twist distribution of the secondary wing. One of the advantages of this approach is that the final output of the process will be a CAD geometry, as opposed to a modified FEM. It avoids a manual step of putting the results back into CAD before being able to share the optimal geometry with other design teams. By removing a manual step, it makes it possible to integrate this method with other disciplines such as structural analysis and enable MDO.