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Utilizing the Effect of Air Speed to Improve Automobile Moving Performance

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1694.1 - 26.1694.14



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Paper Authors


Masoud Fathizadeh P.E. Purdue University Calumet (College of Technology)

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Masoud Fathizadeh – PhD, PE Professor Fathizadeh has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Purdue University Calumet since 2001. He has worked over 15 years both for private industries and national research laboratories such as NASA, Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories. Dr. Fathizadeh has established his own consulting and engineering company in 1995 specializing in power system, energy management and automation systems. During last twenty years the company performed many private and government projects. Dr. Fathizadeh has published numerous journal, conference and technical articles. He has been instrumental figure in establishing mechatronic engineering technology at Purdue University Calumet. His areas of interests are, control systems, power systems, power electronics, energy, and system integration.
Dr. Fathizadeh is a registered professional engineer in the State of Illinois.

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Kevin E Horecky

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I was born and raised in St. John, IN. Growing up in regards to boredom or video games my father always said, “Our garage has every tool known to man.” This really set me on the right path at an early age. I was always tinkering with something or other, striving to learn how and why things work the way they do. In the third grade my grandparents bought me a sailboat; this is when I fell in love with the effects of aerodynamics. I am now on my 5th sailboat, a 30 footer I sail on Lake Michigan. At Lake Central High School I ran Cross Country and Track. It was terrific fun being a part of a team working towards a common goal. The Competition was also enthralling. After the Chicago Marathon in 2010 I would give up running, but I still desired some good organized competition. So the following year I bought a Mazda Miata and quickly went to work modifying it for the sole purpose of going fast around a race track. I race Autocross mostly with the Sports Car Club of America, last year I got 15th in my class at Nationals. I also began racing Sailboats. Regattas are great team sports of tactical decision making and piloting that can be as crucial as piloting a racecar. After High school I went on to study Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Purdue University Calumet. While there, I started working as an intern at United States Steel, and I went on to take a position full time after graduation.

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UTILIZING THE EFFECT OF AIR SPEED TO IMPROVE AUTOMOBILE MOVING PERDORMANCEAs a car travels forward, it is attacked by moving air particles. These air particles go over, underand sides of a car. The air particles on top of a car experience lower pressure and consequentlywith less air density while the air particles under the car are compressed and result in higher airdensity. The lower air pressure on the top and the higher pressure under the car cause the car tolift. The lifting forces is not distributed uniformly for every corner of a car, especially when a carmakes a turn. This uneven lifting forces limit the capability of a car to make turns at higherspeed. This phenomenon is more pronounced in racing cars than average passenger cars. Forexample a 2700 pounds car can produce 742 lbs of lift at 124 mph which is nearly 25% of itsweight at that speed. This lifting force reduces the car capability of gripping the road and maycause stability problem.Race cars, by the use of spoilers and wings, capture the airflow, manipulate it and turn it intodown force to increase traction at higher speeds. This seems counterintuitive since race cars needto be light. However it is the mass that is important and is limiting. Mass doesn’t change,regardless of gravity and atmosphere, weight, on the other hand, as it relates to cars is alwayschanging with bumps on the road, speed and direction. Measuring these effects on cars havebeen achieved through the use of wind tunnels in the past. The attack angle for the wings andspoilers play a major role in suppressing the lifting problem. This paper investigate the liftingproblem for a sport car on a race track and measures the lifting forces exerted on each corner ofthe car. The data collected from each sensor is fed into a computer and analyzed. The computerprovides corresponding information for a controller to automatically adjust the spoiler angle atdifferent speeds under variety of turning conditions. The adjustment of the spoiler leads toimprove performance of the car. The proposed system has been installed on a sport car and itsperformance has been monitored and the relevant data has been collected.This paper will describe: 1. The theory and calculated results due to lifting forces 2. Measurement mechanism, electronic sensors, data manipulation, data management, and controller for spoiler adjustment 3. Comparison of the calculated and actual

Fathizadeh, M., & Horecky, K. E. (2015, June), Utilizing the Effect of Air Speed to Improve Automobile Moving Performance Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25030

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