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AeroContour

A data visualisation and processing tool for aerodynamic ride height data

You can use AeroContour to view and modify ride height aerodynamic data from the wind tunnel. With it you can compare multi-ride height aero maps, create extended and evenly gridded maps from limited areas and sparse and irregular grids (e.g. for use in modelling tools or spreadsheet look up tables) and extract real aero characteristics from aero maps.

AeroContour has been developed explicitly for motorsport use and is in service with professional aerodynamicists and race engineers in many teams and constructors.

 

Main Contour screen

 

Major features

     Generate contour plots instantly

  • AeroContour will generate a complete set of formatted contour plots (Total, Front and Rear Lift, Drag, % Front, L/D, Rear L/D) just by pasting in or entering the basic aero data (ride height, lift, drag and balance).
  • Unlike many generic contour plotting programs AeroContour will handle sparse irregular sets of ride height measurement points, typical of most wind tunnel sets.
  • Ride height points are triangulated using natural neighbour proximal order for optimal and unique gridding.
  • Spot value readings from any part of a contour plot can be taken with a cross hair cursor, returning bi-linearly interpolated values.
  • Contour plots can be viewed as one or four to a screen.

 

     Slice a contour plot with a ride height history

  • An important and unique feature: actual ride height histories, from simulations or data acquisition, can be imported from external files and overlaid on any contour plot.
  • A special plot can then be generated showing the principal aerodynamic values varying through the ride height history.
  • With this feature you can compare different datasets using actual ride heights characteristic of the car you are developing. The result is a continuous curve which contains far more information than the usual two or three typical ride height points that are used.
  • It is the best way to get a truly objective measure of the performance of a particular dataset and provides information for vital for car set up.

Example ride heights overlaid on contour plot

Example slice plot showing aero values with speed

 

     Extend and resample ride height maps

  • Ride height maps can be easily extended, and the original data re-sampled to create a fully populated, regular rectangular ride height map.
  • This is essential for use in other programs such as lap simulations.
  • Much quicker and more accurate than manual resampling and more convenient than testing the model at every point.


     Compare datasets visually

  • Two datasets can be loaded at any time, and you can switch views between them.
  • One dataset can be overlaid on the other with automatic formatting of the bottom set to allow intelligent comparisons.
  • A dataset that represents the difference between the two can be instantly generated and viewed, again with automatically applied formatting.

Two data sets (acquired at different ride heights) overlaid


     Change units, find forces at different speeds, account for atmospheric effects

  • Unlike a generic data visualisation program AeroContour understands the nature of aerodynamic data so the display units can be freely chosen from coefficients or absolute or normalised force values with any speed.
  • Atmospheric effects on air density, and consequently forces, can be accounted for by entering different ambient temperatures and altitude or barometric pressure. This makes it easy for you to predict downforce and drag levels under different conditions.
  • The original data is always preserved.

Units tab on the Options dialog

Air Density tab on the Options dialog

     Format and print plots

  • There are many plot area formatting options, for example autoscaling, toggling of node points and values, line colours, contour values.
  • Data sets can be saved and restored with complete formatting information.
  • Plots and printouts are scaled equally on X and Y axes, a feature often missing on generic plotters.
  • High-resolution prints can be made of any plot, or of a complete set of plots.
  • Plots can be copied automatically to the Windows Clipboard for pasting into other programs, for example reports in MS Word or Excel.

Plot format tab on the Options dialog

     Set contour levels manually or automatically

  • Contour levels can be set automatically, for greatest ease of use,
  • Contour levels can also be precisely manually formatted which is vital when comparing data sets.
  • You can save a default set of contours, to establish a constant baseline.

Contour Values dialog

     Get productive quickly

  • The straightforward interface provides only the tools required for the job of plotting aero data, unlike generic data visualisation tools which are often cluttered with irrelevant commands and controls, making AeroContour easy to pick up and use quickly.
  • Data can be manually entered or edited using a built in grid, or pasted in directly from a spreadsheet.
  • The program comes with a comprehensive illustrated user manual.

Dataset editor

 

 

 
Integration with AeroLap
AeroContour can produce  resampled aero data files from spares irregular data in the correct format to be used by directly AeroLap.
 
NEW Q1 2008
AeroContour v3
AeroContour v3 is due for release sometime in Q1 2008. This will be our first product written in VB.NET and will run on Microsoft Windows Vista and XP.