Tatuus iMagazine - page 24

Throughout the years, we developed a pretty
robust process and all the personnel
involved stick to it, giving a constant
contribution to the development. While
from the engineering standpoint we can say
that specific competence are needed,
especially in terms of the aerodynamics of a
race car to understand the vehicle dynamics
and read and interpreter the test results, the
models need to be reliable, with an effective
and pro‐active maintenance plan. Errors
concerning the working projects, or the
under‐estimating of the alarms can ignite an
infinite chain of problems, procrastinating
the delivery and creating high expenses».
What have been the most important
application for the Tatuus Wind Tunnel?
«The tunnel experience is a key activity for
almost all projects, especially for the ones
starting from a clean sheet of paper. If I had
to chose I would say the prototype for at
least two reasons. It’s the first tin‐top car
designed by Tatuus and the technical rules
of this kind of car aren’t particularly strict in
limiting aero performance. So there’s the
chance to test many solutions that are
different from one another».
Can we try to explain how CFD and WT
can work together)
«There’s a real synergy between WT and
CFG because they are both methods of
investigations and the tests are conducted in
different moments. In order to operate, CFD
needs a file with a geometry, so when the
designers have the first ideas for a shape we
can already have a realistic idea of the
performance. During the last 10 years, this
technology experienced a staggering growth,
thanks to the availability of more powerful
hardware and softwares with more realistic
models. The time needed to get the data is
constantly shrinking. This is the advantage
of starting a project which is guided by
simulation: you test as many solutions as
possible so to operate a selection and then
create less physic models for the WT. WT
and CFD will be back operating whenever
the activity on‐track points out a
discrepancy in the connections established
that far. CFD can investigate well the
circumstances regarding the brake cooling
and the thermic exchange in the radiators or
under the bonnet. Also, it can deepen
specific elements regarding the wings,
visualizing the motion field around the car
or measuring the contribution of every
component to the aerodynamic force. The
solutions and interpretations proposed will
the implemented and developed in the WT,
and than the loop will be complete with a
new test on‐track».
What is the error margin of WT and CFD
compared to what happens on‐track?
«In the end they’re both experiments, held
in an ideal environment made of measured
and controlled conditions. So both suffer of
systematic levels of uncertainty and error, in
addition to the ones coming from the fact
that models cannot replicate reality at its
100%. CDF investigate the flow around an
infinitely rigid body that comes from the
CAD, so it’s a virtual surface. Then, we adopt
some simplification to lighten the
representation by leaving apart all the
components that don’t compromise the flow
too much. The car is let run on an asphalt
without bumps or other kinds of
imperfection. The air density is constant.
Despite the fact that this warnings could
make us less confident, with the experiments
it’s possible to understand how the car
behaves. The research is focused, in addition
to the realistic reproduction of real‐life
parameters, on understanding how that
parameters variate with differences in the
ride height, wing settings etc…”.
What is the role of the “human factor”,
the preparation and sensibility of the
people using this technology?
«Of course, it stays a key role, because only
knowing how the available technologies
work and their limit you can tolerate the
necessary simplifications, and accept the
measure without method errors. Despite the
fact that experience is really important, since
these technologies evolve so fast that it’s
mandatory to study, validate and adopt
them with the right amount of modesty».
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