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New & Improved: The 2014 FIA Formula One Series
Mar13

New & Improved: The 2014 FIA Formula One Series

    This weekend, televisions around the world will tune into to watch the first race of the 2014 FIA Formula One Championship take place in Melbourne, Australia. Of particular interest to all F1 fans will be the new looking cars with their revolutionary new power units. Formula One has undergone another drastic change in the rules, prompting engine manufacturers to clean-sheet design an integrated turbocharged electric-combustion powertrain system. Of course in addition to the new engine specifications, the governing body also revised the rules controlling the size and shape of the allowable external aerodynamics package. As a result of these rule changes, each team's aerodynamics departments have been forced to perform a complete overhaul of the aerodynamics of their car.  In this video, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo and world champion Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull Racing explain the most significant changes to the 2014 FIA rules: As they are constantly striving to improve on-track performance, and given the extreme time constraints of competitive motorsport, the traditional product design process of "design-manufacture-evaluate-redesign" does not allow enough potential designs to be evaluated by F1 teams to remain competitive. By leveraging a Simulation Driven Product Design process, F1 teams are testing more designs in faster timeframes, and thus more efficiently working to optimise the final design and extract maximum possible performance within the new rules. Of all the engineering challenges present in F1 racecar engineering, this advantage is most prominent in the field of fluid dynamics: affecting both external aerodynamics and internal flows. Given that the engine dimensions and fuel tank size are now even more strictly controlled, in order for a team to get more power out of the engine than their competitor, they must put more fuel and air into the engine. For every tenth of a gram of air that the team can force into the engine per cycle, approximately 13 extra kilowatts of shaft power can be produced. While not all of that energy makes it into the rear wheels, the resulting increase in power is still immense. To deliver the most air into the cylinder, it is now legal for teams to compress the air by use of a turbocharger (a change which is welcomed by many fans who love that turbo sound!).  For optimum turbocharger design, engineers turn to ANSYS CFD and associated Workbench design tools such as the TurboTools suite which provides highly advanced integrated tools including BladeGen/BladeModeller, TurboGrid, special Turbo Pre and Post-Processing Macros as well as Vista tools.  ANSYS CFD allows turbocharger designers a faster turnaround on designs and works on templates that produce dependably accurate results. For external aerodynamics,  the advantage...

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Astute use of ANSYS CFD contributes to the success of Australian teams at F1 in Schools 2013 World Finals
Nov29

Astute use of ANSYS CFD contributes to the success of Australian teams at F1 in Schools 2013 World Finals

LEAP is very proud to congratulate the students from A1 Racing for winning the F1 in Schools 2013 World Finals in Austin, Texas.  A1 Racing are a collaboration team between Pine Rivers in Brisbane, QLD, and Phoenix P-12 in Ballarat, Vic, who have continued the proud tradition of Australian students excelling at this international event by becoming the third successive Australian-based team to win the World Finals (with previous winners hailing from Tasmania and South Australia). In our last post, we mentioned that the use of CFD for aerodynamic design and stability at A1 Racing had already brought some early success, with their team having won the fastest car competition by leading the timetrial event.  Later that evening, it was announced that A1 Racing was also the overall winner of F1 in Schools 2013 World Finals. Let’s go into some more detail on how LEAP’s CFD simulations may have assisted A1 Racing to design the fastest car at the F1 in Schools competition. To begin with, a detailed steady-state analysis was performed in order to evaluate the cars aerodynamic performance in terms of lift, downforce and pitching moment.  By nondimensionalising the lift, downforce and pitching moment, the aerodynamic performance at any speed could be calculated and used to rank the different conceptual designs. It was shown that the most critical factors in obtaining accurate results in these initial studies was in creating a high-fidelity boundary layer mesh for the entire car, and also applying the advanced turbulence modelling capabilities of ANSYS to accurately predict regions of flow separation and the formation of vortices in the wake. Additionally, in order to most accurately reproduce the race conditions for the track, more realistic boundary conditions were applied such as: - a moving ground plane - rotating wheels - inclusion of exhaust gases from the CO2 canister that provides thrust to the car (It was found that in preliminary tests that this stream of high-velocity gas had a large influence on the wake profile, and therefore needed to be included to accurately predict the drag force acting on each car design). In addition to these “straight-line” CFD simulations, the cars were also simulated in a number of different orientations to evaluate the static stability of the car. The car was simulated for both zero angle, small angle and large angle perturbations of pitch and sideslip.. These combinations of different pitch and sideslip perturbations gave the designers a total of nine unique design points which were automatically run in a parametric study of the car’s stability using ANSYS DesignXplorer. Using this approach, the full matrix of simulation results were completed with design point each providing values...

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Congratulations to Australian teams in F1 in Schools 2013 World Finals
Nov14

Congratulations to Australian teams in F1 in Schools 2013 World Finals

At LEAP we have a long-standing relationship with all the major universities in Australia and New Zealand.  Our participation extends from the supply of best-in-class engineering software to other important activities such as guest lectures and hands-on workshops/training classes for both academic staff and students.  We also have an ongoing commitment to regularly employ new graduate engineers, many of whom have made their interest in CAE known to us during these earlier on-campus visits. Our frequent interactions with university staff and students have served to underline the importance of the effective teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related subjects.  Indeed, we can see how an early passion and engagement in these STEM subjects can make all the difference to help a student successfully pursue a career in engineering and help create our next generation of innovators (which, in turn, strengthens our economy through these design & innovation skills that many commentators have shown are currently lacking). To help boost interest in these STEM subjects, LEAP is pleased to announce our participation in the 2013 F1 in Schools competition through in-kind support (comprising a series of detailed 3D CFD simulations) to the 3 Australian teams who are competing in the World Finals in Austin, Texas: A1 Racing - collaborative team comprising Phoenix P-12 College in Ballarat, Vic, and Pine Rivers State High School, Queensland Motion Racing - students from Engadine High School, Sydney Odyessy - collaborative team comprising Brighton Secondary College, South Australia, & Donavate Community College, Ireland. By all accounts, the Australian students have enjoyed their whirlwind trip this week in Austin, which culminates tonight in the final award ceremony at midnight AEDT.  You can view the awards ceremony webcast live on YouTube.  The use of CFD for aerodynamic design and stability at A1 Racing has already brought some early success with A1 Racing having the fastest car in the timetrials earlier this week, and we'll know more about the other judging components (and overall winners) after tonight's ceremony. We'd like to congratulate all three teams for their efforts in making it to the World Finals, and no matter the final results we are sure that this will be an experience that they will never forget.  If you (or your kids) want to get involved in F1 in Schools next year, we encourage you to visit the REA F1 in Schools website for more information. Images courtesy LEAP Australia, A1 Racing, F1 in Schools and Re-Engineering Australia...

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Can CFD help to solve Australia’s greatest aviation mystery?
Oct18

Can CFD help to solve Australia’s greatest aviation mystery?

On a stormy night in August 1981, a Cessna Centurion 210 aircraft crashed with 5 people on board in Barrington Tops, a rugged and isolated national park north of Newcastle, New South Wales.  Despite a massive initial search effort and ongoing attempts by a group of dedicated volunteers, the challenging and complex terrain has conspired to prevent the wreckage from ever being found. To put this into some perspective: according to Corporal Mark Nolan (Pilot, Australian Army), this is the only aircraft to have crashed on mainland Australia and never be recovered.  We can only imagine how frustrating and heartbreaking this must be for the victim’s families to be denied this closure. One of the biggest factors that has inhibited previous search attempts is the rugged, dense bushland in the Barrington Tops national park. NSW Police Superintendent Peter Thurtell confirms that “the terrain out there is as rugged as anywhere you'll find in Australia.”  Importantly, he notes that the primary search area has two steep ridges that makes it particularly difficult to get in and out each time, furthering hampering the efficiency of any search efforts. However, with recent advances in technology and some novel use of computational fluid dynamics using ANSYS ICEM and ANSYS CFD, we hope that this mystery is about to be cracked wide open.  This coming weekend, the concerted efforts of numerous professional and volunteer organisations (including Police Rescue, National Parks and Wildlife, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service and the Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad) will combine to have over 100 members on the ground searching for the elusive wreckage of Cessna 210M VH-MDX. Police Superintendent Peter Thurtell adds that while the team is not overly confident, a lot of planning has been done and he now believes "we've identified an area that gives us the best chance of locating the plane." At this point, you may ask how CFD has contributed to solving this 32 year-old mystery? In advance of this major search operation in October 2013, the search coordinators recently undertook a major push to evaluate all the available evidence and comprehensively review all of the theories about what happened to the aircraft. The technology involved includes side-scan sonar of the Chichester Dam, high-resolution aerial photography as well as LIDAR scans of the likely crash site. After painstaking evaluation of the available evidence, the likely crash site was narrowed down significantly by a team of 5 people, including a Police Rescue intelligence officer, a Police GIS officer, a Navy Pilot, a 1981 Air traffic control operator and a dedicated volunteer, Glenn Horrocks, who just happens to be a specialist CFD engineer (in his ‘day...

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Turbulence Part 5 - Overview of Scale-Resolving Simulations (SRS)
Sep26

Turbulence Part 5 - Overview of Scale-Resolving Simulations (SRS)

An increasing number of industrial CFD users are recognising the need to move away from RANS modelling and resolve a greater spectrum of turbulence (particularly in cases involving large-scale separation, strongly swirling flows, acoustics, etc.). Here we present an overview of Scale Resolving Simulation techniques and important considerations when considering applying SRS to your project.

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