Utilizing Computer Modeling and Simulation Software for the Design of a Next Generation Vehicle


Using Computer Aided Design to Improve the Safety, Performance, and Environmental Impact for a Small Combustion Vehicle

This group’s research aim is to develop methods for evaluating next-generation vehicle technology. These are technologies intended to make vehicles more fuel efficient and safer. The researchers are using a variety of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools on the supercomputers to design specific subsystems.

  • Fluent and CFX by ANSYS are computational fluid dynamics design tools used to simulate airflow around the vehicle. This allows researchers to calculate the lift, drag, and moments on the car and on important aerodynamic components. The group is optimizing these in order to get the most traction and allow the car to be stable and more aerodynamic.
  • Altair Hyperworks is a mechanical finite element analysis tool. It is being used to analyze novel vehicle chassis structures.  The researchers are evaluating concepts that can reduce the weight of future vehicles without sacrificing safety. Other key parameters that researchers are looking at are the stiffness, cost and ease of manufacturing.
  • Ricardo WAVE is a 1D engine simulation program. It is used to analyze the impact of the intake and exhaust geometry on the overall efficiency of the engine.

Every year, the group's models continue to improve through more rigorous simulation and validation of models. This is done by creating physical models and running similar tests to what was simulated and comparing the results. This allows future vehicles to be designed more precisely so that they can be more fuel efficient and safer.

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