A novel method for simulating the relative motions of the wheels and moving ground for road vehicle aerodynamics is presented. The method revisits an old concept where two identical vehicles are used and positioned so that they are mirror images, with the ground being represented by the horizontal plane of symmetry. The method involves double symmetry, where two half models (e.g. a car split down the vertical centerline) contact at the rotating wheel contact patches and the resulting (opened) vehicle halves lie on a reflection plane. This can either be the tunnel floor or the equivalent CFD plane. For some forms of physical testing this offers advantages (such as easy access to wheel cavities and requiring only one vehicle) but sealing the gap between the tunnel floor and the vehicle halves can interfere with the force balance accuracy and problems can arise with time-varying flows crossing the time averaged zero flow boundary. This paper describes the concept and CFD and model-scale EFD evaluations which were found to compare well.
A Novel Mirror-Image Technique for Wheel and Ground Simulation in Automotive Wind-Tunnels
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Mavuri, SP, Watkins, S, & Watmuff, J. "A Novel Mirror-Image Technique for Wheel and Ground Simulation in Automotive Wind-Tunnels." Proceedings of the ASME 2005 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting. Volume 2: Fora. Houston, Texas, USA. June 19–23, 2005. pp. 771-776. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/FEDSM2005-77102
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