Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-36-0079

Integrated Design and Control of Active Aerodynamic Features for High Performance Electric Vehicles 2020-36-0079

Aerodynamics plays a major role in the design of all kinds of vehicles throughout automotive history. Initially the main topic under investigation was the aerodynamic drag reduction to achieve high-energy efficiency, however in the late ‘60s the vertical aerodynamic forces gained traction, particularly in high performance cars. The automotive market usually treats design, aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics in different departments. This paper proposes an integrated approach for the aerodynamics development in which a sport car is defined as reference vehicle. The objective of the concurrent engineering operation is to control the aerodynamic forces by implementing active surfaces control finally improving vehicle lap time. The vehicle dynamics analysis is carried out in cooperation with vehicle aerodynamics in order to perform the hardware and software design of the active system. The paper presents a case study in which an active aerodynamics control system is designed and successfully simulated numerically, with a co-simulation between MATLAB/Simulink and VI-Grade CarRealTime. The development process of the control system with fuzzy logic is described and relevant results are presented. Furthermore, to assess the vehicle dynamics improvements, a specific maneuver and a tailored track were developed to highlight the phenomena induced by the active aero surfaces. A final validation, through a static simulator testing session, is performed and presented and the overall conclusions in terms of objective and subjective performance improvements are presented.


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