A research project has begun to investigate the behaviour of aerodynamic drag in real-world driving conditions, since the effect of traffic events and real wind is not taken into consideration in standard wind tunnel tests and CFD simulations. The project is a collaboration between IDIADA and S2A, an aerodynamics facility near Paris that includes a large-scale aeroacoustics wind tunnel, a 2/5 scale wind tunnel and supporting infrastructure. The research is intended to help vehicle OEMs by providing more complete aerodynamic assessments.
S2A & IDIADA plan to characterise the flow-field created in many driving events such as dense traffic, overtaking, crossing manoeuvres and crosswinds, and will analyse several fluid dynamic properties such as air speed, pressure, and turbulence intensity. The partners are aiming to create a deep understanding of real airflows that will enable them to design more realistic measuring techniques and to reproduce such driving conditions more accurately in wind tunnels, as well as by CFD simulation.
The final goal of this research is to reproduce these real-driving conditions in the wind tunnel and simulation, and also to understand the key importance of each condition and propose an alternative air drag assessment method that would average their importance.