The Effects of Ground Simulation on Tractor-Trailer Combinations
The 9-meter wind tunnel of the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada is equipped with a boundary layer suction system, center belt and wheel rollers to simulate ground motion relative to test articles. Although these systems were originally commissioned for testing of full-scale automotive models, they are appropriately sized for ground simulation with half-scale tractor-trailer combinations. The size of the tunnel presents an opportunity to test half-scale commercial vehicles at full-scale Reynolds numbers with a model that occupies 3% of the test section cross-sectional area. This study looks at the effects of ground simulation on the force and pressure data of a half-scale model with rotating tractor wheels. A series of model changes, typical of a drag reduction program, were undertaken and each configuration was tested with both a fixed floor and with full-ground simulation to evaluate the effects of this technology on the total and incremental drag coefficients.