The University of Michigan Formula SAE Racing Team, MRacing, earned second place in the 2010 Formula SAE (FSAE) Competition at Michigan International Speedway, Manchester, Mich., thanks in part to using CarSim vehicle simulation software and SuspensionSim suspension kinematic design software from Mechanical Simulation Corporation, Ann Arbor, Mich. The MRacing team placed second overall, competing with 120 teams from universities around the world.
According to team engineer Sumeet Rai, “MRacing uses SuspensionSim to design the kinematics of the vehicle. Its fast solver helps us to evaluate multiple suspension designs in a matter of minutes. The batch simulation tool of CarSim is used to evaluate a number of kinematic designs and suspension geometries, and measure their effects on performance.” The CarSim vehicle and driver model is also used in an in-house lap time simulation tool to optimize vehicle parameters. “Major advantages of using CarSim are its fast solver and the ability to add external controls, giving the user complete control over the simulation,” he continued.
MRacing finished second overall in the endurance event, second overall in all dynamic events and second overall in the competition. The team also won first place in the Joe Gibbs Spirit of Innovation Award for their use of CarSim in a student-designed Lap Time Simulation tool using neural networks.
At the University of Michigan, MRacing began in 1986 with a few students building the first car in their apartment. FSAE innovation in the 1990s saw MRacing become a top competitor, with features including effective aerodynamic packages and student-designed engine management. As the competition’s popularity took off, MRacing had a firm foothold and continued to evolve. They continue to be leaders in FSAE technology, from vehicle traction control and extensive use of data acquisition, to MRacing-designed dampers and brake calipers, and ongoing work in areas like anti-lock brakes, rapid prototyping, vehicle simulation and alternative materials.
You can see videos of the team here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p78EaNja2U or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nDE2UR0Kw4
-Edited by Kelsey Anderson