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Technical Paper

Testing a Formula SAE Racecar on a Seven-Poster Vehicle Dynamics Simulator

Vehicle dynamics simulation is one of the newest and most valuable technologies being applied in the racing world today. Professional designers and race teams are investing heavily to test and improve the dynamics of their suspension systems through this new technology. This paper discusses the testing of one of Clemson University's most recent Formula SAE racecars on a seven-poster vehicle dynamics simulator; commonly known as a “shaker rig.” Testing of the current dampers using a shock dynamometer was conducted prior to testing and results are included for further support of conclusions. The body of the paper is a discussion of the setup and testing procedures involved with the dynamic simulator. The results obtained from the dynamic simulator tests are then analyzed in conjunction with the shock dynamometer results. Conclusions are formed from test results and methods for future improvements to be applied in Formula SAE racing are suggested.
Technical Paper

Development of New Turbulence Models and Computational Methods for Automotive Aerodynamics and Heat Transfer

This paper is a review of turbulence models and computational methods that have been produced at Clemson University's Advanced Computational Research Laboratory. The goal of the turbulence model development has been to create physics-based models that are economically feasible and can be used in a competitive environment, where turnaround time is a critical factor. Given this goal, all of the work has been focused on Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations in the eddy-viscosity framework with the majority of the turbulence models having three transport equations in addition to mass, momentum, and energy. Several areas have been targeted for improvement in turbulence modeling for complex flows such as those found in motorsports aerodynamics: the effects of streamline curvature and rotation on the turbulence field, laminar-turbulent transition, and separated shear layer rollup and breakdown.
Technical Paper

Development of an Expert System for Race Car Driver & Chassis Diagnostics

Race teams compete at a level where fractions of a second separate the finishers. Consequently, teams devote significant resources to gain a competitive edge. Limitations on track time and high track rental prices dictate efficiency in testing. Thus, proper use of data acquisition and computer aided engineering tools is essential. These tools can be used to quickly analyze test data and serve as the basis for recommendations for changes in chassis setup and driver technique. This project describes the further development of such a tool that can be used to analyze and diagnose the control inputs of a driver as well as diagnose the overall balance of the chassis (i.e., understeer and oversteer). This tool is an “expert system” (implemented in MATLAB) that provides an understanding of the effects of both chassis setup changes and driver steering, braking, and throttle control inputs on overall lap times.
Technical Paper

Control Optimization of a Charge Sustaining Hybrid Powertrain for Motorsports

The automotive industry is aggressively pursuing fuel efficiency improvements through hybridization of production vehicles, and there are an increasing number of racing series adopting similar architectures to maintain relevance with current passenger car trends. Hybrid powertrains offer both performance and fuel economy benefits in a motorsport setting, but they greatly increase control complexity and add additional degrees of freedom to the design optimization process. The increased complexity creates opportunity for performance gains, but simulation based tools are necessary since hybrid powertrain design and control strategies are closely coupled and their optimal interactions are not straightforward to predict. One optimization-related advantage that motorsports applications have over production vehicles is that the power demand of circuit racing has strong repeatability due to the nature of the track and the professional skill-level of the driver.