Performance Modeling of the 2010 Formula SAE Racecar

Photo of Kenneth Evans, Daniel Pry, Geoffrey Simmons Students: Kenneth Evans, Daniel Pry, Geoffrey Simmons

Sponsor: The University of Texas Society of Automotive Engineers

Date: Fall 2009

Requirements:
The team was required to construct a complete, working model of the 2010 UT Formula SAE racecar in ADAMS/Car. Once the model was complete, the team used the model to compare the handling performance of the 2010 racecar to the 2001 and 2008 racecars. The team was also required to experiment with different suspension parameters in ADAMS/Car to improve the car's performance. Finally, the team created a step-by-step guide for building a Formula SAE car in ADAMS/Car.

Problem:
Every year for the Formula SAE competition, students are required to design and build a racecar. Because of design changes from year to year, as well as the fact that students are the drivers, it is hard to compare results from year to year and make conclusions about a certain design. ADAMS/Car is a software package that allows a user to create a virtual model of a racecar and compare it to other racecars in an objective setting. The goal of this project was to use ADAMS/Car to model the performance of the current 2010 UT Formula SAE racecar and compare it to the 2001 and 2008 cars, which were some of the fastest ever built by UT.

Solution:
The team collected specifications on the 2010 car from the Formula SAE team, and used these to create a full model in ADAMS/car. Based ob the constant radius cornering event and the single lane change maneuver, the team found that the 2010 car performed well when compared with the 2001 and 2008 cars. The 2010 car was 2nd overall in the constant radius cornering event, and 3rd in the single lane change maneuver. However, the accuracy of this comparison can be considerably increased when the design of certain parts on the 2010 car is finalized. The design team then experimented with camber angle and toe angle settings to find the combination that offered the best performance. The model of the 2010 car can be used by the 2010 Formula SAE team to test certain designs in the future, and experiment further with different suspension parameters. The how-to guide should help future ADAMS/Car teams develop models for Formula SAE racecars.

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