A fully coupled system in which a vehicle s aerodynamic and handling responses can be simulated has been designed and evaluated using a severe crosswind test. Simulations of this type provide vehicle manufacturers with a useful alternative to on road tests, which are usually performed at a late stage in the development process with a proto- type vehicle. The proposed simulations could be performed much earlier and help to identify and resolve any aerodynamic sensitivities and safety concerns before significant resources are place in the design.
It was shown that for the simulation of an artificial, on-track crosswind event, the use of the fully coupled system was unnecessary. A simplified, one-way coupled system, in which there is no feedback from the vehicle s dynamics to the aerodynamic simulation was sufficient in order to capture the vehicle s path deviation. The realistic properties of the vehicle and accurately calibrated driver model prevented any large attitude changes whilst immersed in the gust, from which variations to the aerodynamics could arise. It was suggested that this system may be more suited to other vehicle geometries more sensitive to yaw motions or applications where a high positional accuracy of the vehicle is required.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.