Aside from the driver's skills and the team's ability to respond to live on-track challenges, success in motorsports is defined by configuration management: Determining the best configuration to achieve maximum performance in how a vehicle behaves and responds to the driver, competitors and on-track and weather-related conditions.
That's why Modelon's Vehicle Dynamics Library has become the platform of choice for dozens of Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar and other motorsports teams worldwide. Not only does the Vehicle Dynamics Library provide the modularity that enables race teams to optimize system and system-interaction performance, it allows them to deploy models throughout the racing enterprise.
Nothing impresses NASCAR like speed.
That's why a U.S. manufacturer uses the Vehicle Dynamics Library to develop real-time simulation tools for all of its NASCAR team customers. Flexibility and computational speed allow race team engineers to deploy the tools at trackside to analyze and predict performance under varying conditions.
The Vehicle Dynamics Library is used by the manufacturer to model all aspects of a NASCAR racecar. The front suspension, a double wishbone, was configured directly from the VDL suspension templates. The rear suspension, a unique rigid axle trailing arm design, was quickly built using mechanical primitives from the Modelica Standard Libraries and Modelon Mechanics Libraries.
NASCAR customers are able to easily extend standard VDL capabilities with custom tire, aerodynamics and engine models. VDL’s tuning components allow users to precisely set the vehicle’s frame heights, weight distribution (nose, cross and right-side weights), and suspension toe and camber.
VDL's binary export capabilities are used to deploy the suspension and vehicle models to a large number of trackside engineers. Source-code export capabilities allow customers to reuse the vehicle model in a variety of real-time applications.
Speed, flexibility, comprehensiveness, universal deployment: They add up to a checkered flag for NASCAR teams.
In the ultra-competitive world of motorsports, development time is almost as important as the speed at which a car navigates the track during a race.
Before design even starts, Dallara uses a real-time simulator to evaluate kinematics, steering geometry, aerodynamics, packaging, cooling, engine performance, monocoque stiffness and minor installation details.
Dymola and the Vehicle Dynamics Library were key drivers in developing the simulator. They enabled designers to quickly build models of every part of the racecar and share them among everyone involved in the development process, including vehicle dynamicists, aerodynamics engineers, designers, structural engineers and engine manufacturers.
Real-time simulation is being proven where the rubber meets the track: Dallara reports that its approach cut development time of the Nippon Super Formula car by more than half, and the physical car's performance and track feel are remarkably close to those of the virtual car developed on the simulator.
Sundström, P., et al., Virtual Vehicle Kinematics and Compliance Test Rig, The First Japanese Modelica Conferences, May 23-24, 2016, Tokyo, Japan, pp 29-34
Toso, A. and Moroni, A., Replicating the Racing Experience Automotive Engineering, SAE International, pp. 26, March 2015
Toso, A. and Moroni, A., Professional Driving Simulator to Design First-Time-Right Race Cars, SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0099, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0099.
Toso, A. and Moroni, A., Professional Driving Simulator to Design First-Time-Right Race Cars, SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0099, 2014, Presentation (pdf).
Dymola with binary export
A recent report from Dallara shows that development time for a Nippon Super Formula racecar was reduced by more than 50% - from 26 to 12 weeks - using a simulation approach based on Dymola and the Vehicle Dynamics Library.
Dallara says Dymola and the Vehicle Dynamics Library enabled a modular vehicle model that allowed “engineers to replace, modify, add and refine system blocks such as tires, aerodynamics, engine, suspension, driveline [and to] link external blocks."