Testing companies collaborate to understand real-world aerodynamic drag effects

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Testing outfits S2A and IDIADA are to engage in a collaborative research project to investigate aerodynamic drag in real driving conditions, since the effect of traffic events and real wind is not taken into consideration in standard wind tunnel tests and computational field dynamics (CFD) simulations.

The companies say they will characterize vehicle flow fields in many driving events such as dense traffic, overtaking, crossing maneuvers and crosswind, and will analyze several fluid dynamic properties such as airspeed, pressure and turbulence intensity. They believe that the resulting insight into real airflows will allow for the design of more realistic measuring techniques and reproduce such driving conditions more accurately in the wind tunnel as well as by CFD simulation.

The investigation aims not only to reproduce these real driving conditions in the wind tunnel and on the computer, but also to understand the importance of each one and propose an alternative air drag assessment method that averages their importance. Both companies expect to help vehicle OEMs by providing more complete aerodynamic assessments.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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