rFpro opens up road surface simulation software to third-party tire model suppliers

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Simulation software specialist rFpro says it is integrating third-party tire model suppliers directly into its road surface model software, Terrain Server. By providing highly detailed road surface data it hopes to help motorsport teams develop more advanced tire models.

“The tire is the only part of a race car connected to the road,” said Matt Daley, rFpro operations director. “For motorsport teams, optimizing the tires is critical to reducing lap times. Using a more advanced tire model during simulations provides a better understanding of the tire behavior and improves correlation with the real world.”

A tire model is made up of two elements: the contact patch model and the dynamics and force calculations. For highly efficient processing during real-time simulations, Terrain Server takes an average road position of the contact patch, which the tire model uses to calculate the force and directions being applied to the wheel.

The new development gives tire modeling providers encrypted access to the road surface model so they have complete control of the tire model calculations. This enables the contact patch to be split up into 1 x 1cm segments each with its own road position. As a result, the forces and stiffnesses of different areas of the tire can be simulated, creating a much more advanced tire model.

During offline simulations, the new tire model can be run at high detail because it isn’t constrained by real time. This enables a sweep of test parameters to be run to evaluate how the parameter changes affect the vehicle. For example, different tire pressures, downforce levels and weight distributions can all be evaluated to see the impact on lap times.

“We have been entrusted by race circuits around the world with their track surface IP for over 20 years,” Daley added. “It was therefore critical to enable customers to integrate their own tire models into our simulation while also encrypting the road surface data.”

The first tire model provider to be integrated into rFpro’s Terrain Server is MegaRide. Its customers have already adopted the new solution and are benefiting from the results.

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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 is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.




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