Research into the Potential of Variable Aerodynamic Properties to Modify Ground Vehicle Behaviour

  • James Atkinson

    Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


    This report investigates the possibility of using a variable aerodynamic device to improve a vehicle’s dynamic behaviour during a side wind scenario often experienced on open roads.
    In order to understand the effect of using a stability device, a literature review was undertaken, from which information was able to be extracted to create a mathematical model to demonstrate how vehicle characteristics are changed. Using the mathematical
    model, a range of concepts were able to be generated, with the variable stability fin being selected and developed further. The design was manufactured and tested using both wind tunnel testing and CFD simulations to determine how the forces and moments that act on the vehicle change with yaw angle and fin deployment stages. From the research that was carried out it can be said that the side force and yaw moment are affected by the inclusion of a stability fin, particularly at greater yaw angles. The investigations have also provided a number of key areas where future work could be undertaken to further understand the
    effect of a side wind gust on a vehicle’s behaviour.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorDavid Trepess (Supervisor) & Gary Wood (Supervisor)

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