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Thread: Survey about new aero rules

  1. #1
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    Survey about new aero rules

    The FSAE rules committee published a proposal for revised aero rules which includes three sets of rules which are in valid for two years, creating a six year cycle.

    They also started a survey about this proposal: http : / / www . survey monkey . com / s / P39BCXR

    As there are quite a lot of people around who use every possibility to claim that all members of the rules committee are incompetent idiots (and worse) and think they know better, here is a possibility to objectively collect the opinions about this proposal before it gets valid.
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
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  2. #2
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    This is great, IMO. I think one of these should be created for all potential rules changes that have significant impact on vehicle design (the noise test change from 2014 also comes to mind). There was a lot more information in the survey than would make sense to put in the rules document. That helps everyone that is interested to be more informed about what the rules committee is thinking, and IMO, allows for a more informed response by the larger FSAE public.

    -Matt
    Matt Davis
    University of Cincinnati
    Bearcat Motorsports: 2012-2013: Suspension guy

    Bilstein: 2013 - ??: Product Engineer

    This post is a collection of my own thoughts and opinions, and in no way, shape or form reflects the thoughts/opinions of my company, my university or anyone else but myself.

  3. #3
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    The best thing about surveys like this is that a lot of people are usually surprised that their opinion isn't the same as the majority's opinion. Usually they blame the survey was manipulative and/or that the majority who voted were idiots

    The new noise rules are a good example. Of course people who build cars which are highly affected by this don't like this rule, but there is absolutely no doubt that although they had the same values in noise test, the singles were much louder on the track than the fours. If you read a bit about the db rating methods that is no surprise as dbA is only meaningful for humen hearing up to a noise level of 40db. Using the A-rating for louder noises is just nonsense...
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
    2012: Operative Team

  4. #4
    I'm also interested to see the results.

    Personally, I think the idea of cyclic rules is not very good. Larger teams can probably adapt much faster to a new rule set because they have knowledge, experience and the necessary tools to find a suitable concept quickly.
    But it could be an interessting experiment to watch, what is going to happen if one major aspect of the competition would be changed for let's say 2 years.

    Here I think, Aero is not the right choice "to play with" because Aero is just not that important. Yes, we have seen more and more Aero cars and yes, they are fast. But, it is just because nearly all really good teams are running wings at the moment. If we put the wings aside, I am quite sure that the Top10 at a large event would not look that much different than right now.
    Aero makes your car a bit quicker and you are going to score a couple of points more than without them, yes. But so does Traction Control, so does Torque Vectoring, so does Recuperation, so does a CFRP monocoque. It is not a must-have feature.
    Delft 2013 ran without a front wing, a tiny rear wing but still a screwed up aero balance and had one of the fastest cars at FSG. It does work without Aero!

    Therefore I think other areas would be a more interesseting challenge if say nearly all teams had to develop a completely new suspension or if the point distribution would favor a different engine or if 4WD would be forbidden, and so on.

    In my opinion (and a bit of experience), especially Aero is more about the tools and the methods that a team approaches than about "what is the best". I think the large Aero teams (Monash, GFR, Zurich, Maryland...) would be very quick to develop a new Aero package to any set of rules. Smaller, not so experienced teams would have a bigger problem to catch up. Therefore Aero is not the right choice in my mind.

    Finally the proposed rulesets would really limit Aero as it is. Probably no wings would be seen on a lot of the cars because it would take much more time and resources to develop a Aero package that "breaks even" when it comes to performance and points. And then FSAE probably loses one of the "new" areas where students can learn a thing or two.
    -------------------------------------------
    Alumnus
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

    2010-2011: Suspension
    2012: Aerodynamics
    2013: Technical Lead

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bemo View Post
    The best thing about surveys like this is that a lot of people are usually surprised that their opinion isn't the same as the majority's opinion. Usually they blame the survey was manipulative and/or that the majority who voted were idiots

    The new noise rules are a good example. Of course people who build cars which are highly affected by this don't like this rule, but there is absolutely no doubt that although they had the same values in noise test, the singles were much louder on the track than the fours. If you read a bit about the db rating methods that is no surprise as dbA is only meaningful for humen hearing up to a noise level of 40db. Using the A-rating for louder noises is just nonsense...
    Bemo,

    It is not correct (IMO) to compare single cylinder teams which openly admit to cheating the noise test with those that do not. Yes, there are single cylinder cars which are louder on track than they are in the noise test. The cars that are only slightly louder on track would likely be a result of a different engine tune (legal). The cars that are significantly louder on track than in noise did something else beyond a change in engine tune (exhaust plug, etc.). If you were at FSG last year, you saw at least 1 of these teams (likely more). 1 of the teams openly admitted to us last year how they get through noise, and I suspect (although I have no proof) that 2 other teams are using the same method to pass noise (these teams have either close regional contact, or have spent time together at unofficial competitions).

    To me, it is not correct to punish teams who make legal changes to their car when there are a few teams that make illegal changes to their car and ruin it for everyone. For this reason, I have suggested testing for noise on track, if that is the noise that people want to complain about. Given that teams are cheating the noise test, there is no point to have it in tech (again, IMO) anymore.

    -Matt
    Matt Davis
    University of Cincinnati
    Bearcat Motorsports: 2012-2013: Suspension guy

    Bilstein: 2013 - ??: Product Engineer

    This post is a collection of my own thoughts and opinions, and in no way, shape or form reflects the thoughts/opinions of my company, my university or anyone else but myself.

  6. #6
    To condense my reply to the survey.

    I believe regulating the design options is a poor way to develop the competition as it should allow as many options for the students as safely possible. If the organisers want to design new challenges they should do so by weighting events differently or changing the tracks. This would require the teams to go back to first principals and understand the trade off between drag, mass of the car, power, down-force and how all these factors affect their vehicle's performance in each event again.
    The proposed aerodynamics changes don't change the points per kg of down-force so it is still as important. Its just limiting your options, simplifying the competition.

    Further, I don't believe the dangers posed by large wings are as serious as those prevalent in other areas. The dangers posed by students trying to push the limits to design feather light components for example is more dangerous in my opinion and is widely rewarded by judges. Each competition seems to have a car lose a corner bouncing off the side of the track.

    The tilt test currently does not identify roll-over stability issues, its intended purpose, which also appears a large concern of the organisers. See: http://tinyurl.com/pz62dao. This is a issue which affects all cars and doesn't appear to have any proposed changes?

    The survey is a excellent idea, I do appreciate the organisers asking the wider FSAE community for input.

    Westly Partridge
    Curtin Motorsport Team
    Curtin Motorsport Team
    2011 - 2014

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdavis View Post
    It is not correct (IMO) to compare single cylinder teams which openly admit to cheating the noise test with those that do not. Yes, there are single cylinder cars which are louder on track than they are in the noise test. The cars that are only slightly louder on track would likely be a result of a different engine tune (legal). The cars that are significantly louder on track than in noise did something else beyond a change in engine tune (exhaust plug, etc.). If you were at FSG last year, you saw at least 1 of these teams (likely more). 1 of the teams openly admitted to us last year how they get through noise, and I suspect (although I have no proof) that 2 other teams are using the same method to pass noise (these teams have either close regional contact, or have spent time together at unofficial competitions).
    I knew it! I know exactly which team you're describing. There's no way this team could have passed noise with only calibration changes. On track it had the same distinctive signature as a racing ATV--exactly what you would expect from its over the counter silencer from an aftermarket ATV/dirtbike application (which often have "quiet core" inserts available for riding in noise-restricted areas). Remember how loud it was at Formula North? It was a slap in the face after putting a considerable amount of work in to my team's silencer design to get the 450 under the noise limit without calibration or hardware changes just for the test. I would be disappointed to know that the other successful single-cylinder team from the region was doing the same, but last year was their first year running an OTC silencer after a student-built silencer cost them an endurance finish the year before.

    Despite this injustice, Bemo is right. As much as those of us who have worked hard to legally meet dBA noise limits don't want the change to happen, dBC is the proper weighting for our sensitivity to frequencies of this sound level. An interesting question, however, is what is more important: the way we hear the frequencies under scrutiny, or protecting bystanders from them? A-weighting is used in the hearing protection realm--the quotes below are from the following link: http://www.howardleight.com/images/p...tedMeasure.pdf

    "The C-weighting scale was originally designed
    to be the best predictor of the ear’s sensitivity
    to tones at high noise levels. Why, then, are
    noise measurements for hearing conservation
    almost always measured in dBA? Because the
    ear’s loudness sensitivity for tones is not the
    same as the ears’ damage risk for noise. Even
    though the low frequencies and high frequencies
    are perceived as being equally loud at high
    sound levels, much of the low frequency noise
    is actually being filtered out by the ear, making
    it less likely to cause damage. The A-weighting
    scale in a sound level meter replicates this
    filtering process of the human ear."

    "Several of hearing conservation’s key documents (including OSHA’s Hearing Conservation Amendment, and EPA’s
    labeling requirements for hearing protectors) rely on dBC in determining noise exposures. Today, however, nearly
    all noise measurements for hearing conservation are measured in dBA, resulting in misapplications and errors when
    figuring attenuation from hearing protectors."
    -----------------------------------
    Matt Birt
    Engine Calibration and Performance Engineer, Enovation Controls
    Former Powertrain Lead, Kettering University CSC/FSAE team
    1st place Fuel Efficiency 2013 FSAE, FSAE West, Formula North
    1st place overall 2014 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbirt View Post
    I knew it! I know exactly which team you're describing. There's no way this team could have passed noise with only calibration changes. On track it had the same distinctive signature as a racing ATV--exactly what you would expect from its over the counter silencer from an aftermarket ATV/dirtbike application (which often have "quiet core" inserts available for riding in noise-restricted areas). Remember how loud it was at Formula North? It was a slap in the face after putting a considerable amount of work in to my team's silencer design to get the 450 under the noise limit without calibration or hardware changes just for the test.
    Yes, I remember how loud the cars were at North. We could tell exactly who was practicing on 2 occasions based on the engine note, when we were inside the building in our paddock space. After that competition is when we found out about the rules breaking.

    I would not consider the Kettering car to be loud at all, and it was a single cylinder that seemingly ran in the same configuration in Noise as it did on track. What were your thoughts on our car (Cincinnati), Matt? We ran about the same time you did in Lincoln, although IIRC, you were one of the enduro drivers, so you may not have paid all that much attention to other cars (and I don't blame you at all for that).

    Again, I think the important thing is not what the engine does under 0 load (or near 0 load), but what it does under full load. This is why I support the on track testing method used by the SCCA.

    -Matt
    Matt Davis
    University of Cincinnati
    Bearcat Motorsports: 2012-2013: Suspension guy

    Bilstein: 2013 - ??: Product Engineer

    This post is a collection of my own thoughts and opinions, and in no way, shape or form reflects the thoughts/opinions of my company, my university or anyone else but myself.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdavis View Post
    Yes, I remember how loud the cars were at North. We could tell exactly who was practicing on 2 occasions based on the engine note, when we were inside the building in our paddock space. After that competition is when we found out about the rules breaking.

    I would not consider the Kettering car to be loud at all, and it was a single cylinder that seemingly ran in the same configuration in Noise as it did on track. What were your thoughts on our car (Cincinnati), Matt? We ran about the same time you did in Lincoln, although IIRC, you were one of the enduro drivers, so you may not have paid all that much attention to other cars (and I don't blame you at all for that).

    Again, I think the important thing is not what the engine does under 0 load (or near 0 load), but what it does under full load. This is why I support the on track testing method used by the SCCA.

    -Matt
    Haha yes, I remember being astonished how clearly their exhaust note rang inside the hockey arena while they were in the practice area.

    Thanks! That silencer passed noise at all three competitions without being opened for repacking or otherwise and it had lots of test hours on it before Lincoln. The headpipe was a reverse cone megaphone design with more "plenum" volume than your standard headpipe and the silencer featured a convergent conical core surrounded by continuous strand roving fiberglass. The only thing I would have changed would be to add an upward tailpipe bend to change how the straight tailpipe pointed at the tire and reflected sound waves to the noise test mic.

    I might've been in a fire suit, but I was still in full engine guy mode! I'm sure I was thinking about other cars' muffler designs and power curve shapes more than I should have been. I've watched this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITrpOZGEv2I, plenty of times out of nostalgia. The Cincy car was definitely one of the quietest singles in my FSAE memory that did not use a stock muffler from a bike or quad (may God forbid that anyone have to use the stock peashooter to meet C-weighted noise). It definitely lacked the chest-pounding low frequency content that course workers find uncomfortable. I thought the resistive/reflective tuning going on with the silencer's choked outlet made it sound slightly metallic, but you've gotta do what it takes to meet noise when it comes down to it.
    -----------------------------------
    Matt Birt
    Engine Calibration and Performance Engineer, Enovation Controls
    Former Powertrain Lead, Kettering University CSC/FSAE team
    1st place Fuel Efficiency 2013 FSAE, FSAE West, Formula North
    1st place overall 2014 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bemo View Post
    As there are quite a lot of people around who use every possibility to claim that all members of the rules committee are incompetent idiots...
    Bemo,

    Thank you for providing yet more evidence of said "incompetence".

    * For a start, I had a look at the proposed Rule changes last week, but now cannot access them again! (Can anyone please post them here?)

    * Nowhere was there any clear DEFINITION of "aerodynamic devices". Nor of "bodywork". Nor of any distinction between the two. The closest they came (from my brief notes) is that aero-devices are things:
    "... that can be considered to be ... can be interpreted to be..."
    I doubt that it is possible to be MORE subjective or vague!

    * "Rules B..." This mentioned something about suspension components NOT being subject to the "underbody" restrictions. So, what happens with UWA's "Aero-Beam"? Did anyone on the committee give any thought to anything they wrote???

    * These Rule changes are clearly written by self-esteem-lacking, sad control-freaks, who want to micro-manage everything and be the boss of everyone. There is no point asking the students to design anything, because everything is spelled out for them in the Rules. And as for any grey areas in the Rules, well the students best not go there, lest they be banned for bringing a car that has bodywork (or suspension) that touches the wind!

    * And lots of spelling mistakes!
    ~o0o~

    If FS/FSAE is truly to be an educational event, then the worst thing to do is to have Rules that specify (= "design") the car down to the smallest detail. Instead,

    LESS RULE CONSTRAINTS = MORE DESIGN FREEDOM = MORE SCOPE FOR STUDENT EDUCATION.

    There should be no distinction between aero-devices and bodywork (or suspension components for that matter). And most of the "design constraints" should come from the track itself.

    * Want proper suspension? Then put some proper bumps on the track!

    * Want to limit maximum aero height? Then put a "bridge" over the track that the cars have to drive under.

    * Want to limit maximum width or length of the cars? Then have "gates" that they have to drive through, and some real HAIRPINS (as specified in the Rules for 30 odd years, but very rarely used).

    * Want better educated students? Then let them think for themselves.

    * Want better Rules? Then only accept Rules Committee members who can THINK THINGS THROUGH!

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 05-19-2014 at 01:21 AM.

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