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Thread: Collaborative research and knowledge transfer

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  1. #1
    While when designing our cars and spending many long days and nights building and testing seeking that overall win at Detroit (or wherever), Formula SAE is certainly at its core, geared as a learning experience. In order to design a potential winner of a car, the more you know about the fundamentals and nuances of motorsport engineering the better off you are.

    As 'junior' automotive engineers we all have the same problem and goal - make our car go around the track in the shortest amount of time. With this, and a basic toolset of engineering and vehicle dynamics knowlwedge, we set out for our own creative solution. While we all take pride and ownership in our own specific applications, I think we could all benefit tremendously from collaborative knowledge transfer on the fundamental level. Hell even sharing stuff on application (chosen spring and damper rates) is nice now and then as a sanity check and to see what other people are doing.

    The FSAE TTC is a great example of this, and by looking at the raw data, my own porting of Pacejka '96 to MATLAB and talking to some development engineers at Goodyear, my knowledge of tires and vehicle dynamics has gone up a couple orders of magnitude.

    Another thing, which I think I've brought up before, is Colorado and Colorado State are planning on doing some collaborative research on tuning the Cane Creek DB-1 for a spec needed for a FSAE car. Will potentially involve changing overall damping rates, changing internals to adjust where the high speed transition occurs, that sort of thing. While we'll both have the same knowledge, our cars are very different (as are the team and management structures!!) and the application will probably be much different.

    I think the Claude seminars are great, and I'll have to get out to one at some points, and I had the priviledge the other day of talking with John Caldwell about engine work (for the record he has 35 years engine building and tuning experience, 300 wins including LeMans 24hr, Daytona 24hr, Sebring 12hr, ALMS, Trans Am, IMSA GTP, FIA World Championships, SCCA Nationals, etc).

    I'd be curious what the general vibe towards this is, and what people are interesting in learning. Personally I'm keen on..
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>Developing correlations between steered and slip angles of FSAE tires at varying load for better Ackmerann analysis
    <LI>Most influential factors on engine output power and band width (I vote exhaust much higher than intake)
    <LI>How the hell to design camshafts
    <LI>Effect of chassis as a torsion spring linking front and rear suspensions
    <LI>Various effects of roll and pitch center position.. both static and migration. What is most important?
    <LI>How important is heat retention in exhaust?
    <LI>Exhaust flowrates.. 300 ft/s is a good rule of thumb, but is it better to be high or low? Is it most important in the primaries and not so much after collectors, or all around critical?
    <LI>Best way to do transient flow analysis of an intake to determine if individual cylinders are starved for air or need significant trim in tuning
    <LI>Different ways people have gone about damper rate selection[/list]Input? Anyone elses feelings on all this?
    Colorado FSAE | '05 - '07
    Goodyear Tire & Rubber | '07 - '11
    NASCAR Engineer | '11 - ??

  2. #2
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by skillet:
    this is still a competition right? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's an interesting one this - and depends very much on who you ask. Steve Daum described the annual event as a race and fsae as a competition to me when I asked in August. The european organisers describe the annual event as more of an 'expo' and fsae as a 'finishing school' for engineers.

    I reckon its most like 'clubman' level racing - where sure there's somebody that wins, but nobody wants the other person not to finish and you're always helping each other out - whether that's with spares at the comp or sage advice long before it!

    All told I find it a welcome contrast to 'traditional' individualistic/competitive/fairly bloodthirsty academia.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Hell even sharing stuff on application (chosen spring and damper rates) is nice now and then as a sanity check and to see what other people are doing. Input? Anyone elses feelings on all this? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm a fan of sharing anything and everything, simply on the basis that there's nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so. The hard bit is getting everything out of your head/paper and onto something that's distributable easily, but that's as good practice for team-continuity/knowledge-transfer as it is for wider collaboration and something I'm pushing the team to do.
    --
    Marko

  3. #3
    While when designing our cars and spending many long days and nights building and testing seeking that overall win at Detroit (or wherever), Formula SAE is certainly at its core, geared as a learning experience. In order to design a potential winner of a car, the more you know about the fundamentals and nuances of motorsport engineering the better off you are.

    As 'junior' automotive engineers we all have the same problem and goal - make our car go around the track in the shortest amount of time. With this, and a basic toolset of engineering and vehicle dynamics knowlwedge, we set out for our own creative solution. While we all take pride and ownership in our own specific applications, I think we could all benefit tremendously from collaborative knowledge transfer on the fundamental level. Hell even sharing stuff on application (chosen spring and damper rates) is nice now and then as a sanity check and to see what other people are doing.

    The FSAE TTC is a great example of this, and by looking at the raw data, my own porting of Pacejka '96 to MATLAB and talking to some development engineers at Goodyear, my knowledge of tires and vehicle dynamics has gone up a couple orders of magnitude.

    Another thing, which I think I've brought up before, is Colorado and Colorado State are planning on doing some collaborative research on tuning the Cane Creek DB-1 for a spec needed for a FSAE car. Will potentially involve changing overall damping rates, changing internals to adjust where the high speed transition occurs, that sort of thing. While we'll both have the same knowledge, our cars are very different (as are the team and management structures!!) and the application will probably be much different.

    I think the Claude seminars are great, and I'll have to get out to one at some points, and I had the priviledge the other day of talking with John Caldwell about engine work (for the record he has 35 years engine building and tuning experience, 300 wins including LeMans 24hr, Daytona 24hr, Sebring 12hr, ALMS, Trans Am, IMSA GTP, FIA World Championships, SCCA Nationals, etc).

    I'd be curious what the general vibe towards this is, and what people are interesting in learning. Personally I'm keen on..
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    <LI>Developing correlations between steered and slip angles of FSAE tires at varying load for better Ackmerann analysis
    <LI>Most influential factors on engine output power and band width (I vote exhaust much higher than intake)
    <LI>How the hell to design camshafts
    <LI>Effect of chassis as a torsion spring linking front and rear suspensions
    <LI>Various effects of roll and pitch center position.. both static and migration. What is most important?
    <LI>How important is heat retention in exhaust?
    <LI>Exhaust flowrates.. 300 ft/s is a good rule of thumb, but is it better to be high or low? Is it most important in the primaries and not so much after collectors, or all around critical?
    <LI>Best way to do transient flow analysis of an intake to determine if individual cylinders are starved for air or need significant trim in tuning
    <LI>Different ways people have gone about damper rate selection[/list]Input? Anyone elses feelings on all this?
    Colorado FSAE | '05 - '07
    Goodyear Tire & Rubber | '07 - '11
    NASCAR Engineer | '11 - ??

  4. #4
    this is still a competition right?

  5. #5
    For something like this to work, it would need to have some input, either monetary or time, from all teams. This is why the TTC works, because everyone has an investment in it.

    Another thing, the TTC (and the Cane Creek testing you mentionned too i suppose) involve the collection of data, and it's up to the teams to interpret it and use it to make the car better. Some of the topics seem to be the answer to a design issue, not data that is collected that can be used for all teams, and takes away from the spirit of having cars designed by the teams.

    Also, these projects dont really lend themselves much to cooperation, as it seems that it would not be practical coordinate all this, unless the schools are very close geographically.

    Finally, with the TTC, it is of interest to everyone, as we all use these tires. Other topics vary so much from car to car, that I can't see many people agreeing on a project.

    Matt Gignac
    McGill Racing Team

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