Ramakrishnan, V., Soundararaju, D., Karbon, K., and Jha, P., "A Numerical Approach to Evaluate the Aerodynamic Performance of Vehicle Exterior Surfaces," SAE Technical Paper 2011-01-0180, 2011, doi:10.4271/2011-01-0180.
This paper outlines a process to assess the aerodynamic performance of different vehicle exterior surfaces. The initial section of the paper summarizes the details of white-light scanning process that maps entire vehicle to points in Cartesian co-ordinate system which is followed by the conversion of scanned points to theme surface. The concept of point-cloud modeling is employed to generate a smooth theme surface from scanned points. Theme surfaces thus developed are stitched to under-body/under-hood (UB/UH) parts of the base vehicle and the numerical simulations were carried out to understand the aerodynamic efficiency of the surfaces generated. Specifics of surface/volume mesh generated, boundary conditions imposed and numerical scheme employed are discussed in detail. Flow field over vehicle exterior is thoroughly analyzed. A comparison study highlighting the effect of front grilles in unblocked condition along with air-dam on flow field has been provided. Advantages and limitations of the entire process are also mentioned.