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A team of engineering students at The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Center for Automotive Research (CAR) recently began running aerodynamics simulations at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), one of the first steps in the long and careful process of researching,
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"OSC has been a partner of the Buckeye Bullet team throughout the project’s history,
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"This goal places the team in direct competition with many of the fastest internal combustion cars in the world,
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"We’re using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to design and optimize the vehicle shape," said Cary Bork, a graduate student and chief engineer for the project. "The simulations are needed to accurately predict the aerodynamic forces on the vehicle at these speeds and can only be run on large computing clusters. Various mesh sizes have been used from 1 million to 50 million cells. Most of the simulations use 25 million cells."
In addition to an overall optimization of the body and fin shape, the new aerodynamic design features several additional areas of improvement over its predecessors. The vehicle will incorporate a layout where the driver is placed forward of the front tires to improve volume utilization, reduce overall vehicle length, decrease the vehicle drag by five percent and improve the vehicle balance. Also, the team is studying the addition of wind deflectors beneath the vehicle and in front of the tires to decrease the amount of air that enters the wheel well,
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Most of the CFD design is being completed using OpenFOAM, a free, open source software package, and meshing is done using OpenFOAM’s automated utility snappyHexMesh. Vehicle geometry for the vehicle is being generated using Catia solid modeling and surfacing software,
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