Wind Tunnel Balance System for Vehicle Aerodynamic Developments

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Courtesy of HORIBA Europe GmbH

In vehicle development steps, optimization of aerodynamic properties is often carried out in wind tunnel facilities. The vehicle is placed upon the measuring platform of the balance. The wind tunnel balance now allows the precise measurement of six forces and moments induced by the air flow. The HORIBA wind tunnel balance system can be equipped with a moving ground system which makes the air flow at the underside and around the wheels much more realistic. This moving ground system is built up of a central moving belt unit which is running at wind speed between the wheels and of four wheel spinning units which are rotating the wheels with wind speed. In this case the four wheel spinning units are also part of the force measuring system of the balance. Maximum speeds of up to 250 km/h are possible.

Introduction
Vehicle development steps and optimization of aerodynamic properties are often carried out in wind tunnel facilities. The improvement of vehicle aerodynamics is an important step to optimize fuel consumption, driving comfort , performance and acoustics. Even though many investigations can be done with numerical methods, still realistic tests with true air flow simulation around the vehicle are indispensable.

In a wind tunnel the air f low at the underside of the vehicle is not completely realistic, because the vehicle is not moving in the tunnel. In real life the vehicle is moving while the air is at rest. In the wind tunnel a boundary layer exists close to the test section floor. In modern wind tunnels special methods and equipment are used to improve air f low simulation at the underside of the vehicle.

The demand for new modern wind tunnels with the capability of air f low simulation especially at the underside of the vehicle combined with a high accuracy of force measurement is now even growing worldwide. The HORIBA wind tunnel balance system together with its integrated moving ground system (Figure 1) fulfils both requirements excellently.

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