Reliable computer solutions to external aerodynamic flow fields on road vehicles are extremely desirable to road vehicle designers. In a previous publication a study was performed to validate a Reynolds-averaged unsteady Navier-stokes solution for the aerodynamic characterization of a large-scale bluff body. In the present study, the external aerodynamics of this body as a function of ground clearance are explored. Experimental force measurements are obtained in a full-scale wind tunnel using an Ahmed body model and test conditions representative of full-scale operating conditions. A Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes solver is employed for computational simulation of the external flowfield at the same conditions. Experimental and computational force coefficients versus vehicle ground clearance are presented for fixed ground, moving ground, and suction slot road simulations. Experimental results using boundary layer suction are compared to computational results with a moving ground plane in order to better understand the effect of a road simulation method.

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