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AeroLap

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Overview
 

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Features
 

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Defining the car
 

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Analysing results
 

Features

AeroLap has many features both on the simulation and modelling side, and also for data entry and analysis of results.

New features are added frequently. See the history for details of the latest changes.

 

basic features

Clean and straightforward user interface
Logical, crisp design with comprehensive context-sensitive help system allows you to be up and running with a minimal learning curve. 

Fast solution times
Allow many simulations to be run in a relatively short time.

Symmetric or asymmetric cars
Caters for road course and speedway cars with either symmetric or asymmetric set-ups.

Comprehensive outputs
Provides simulation results as a lap time and over 200 simulated data channels - you can analyse the simulated performance like you use your data acquisition system.

Import or design 3D tracks
Complex track geometry can be automatically generated by importing acquired data. You can also design track layouts easily using any number of simple elements - for example a basic speedway can be created from just 4 straight and 4 curved elements. Bank angle and gradient can be added if required using the Track Profile tool.

Import acquired data
Data can be imported from any data acquisition systems with an text export for graphical or tabular comparison with the simulated lap - making it easy to accurately set up the simulation and compare results.

Export results
Simulated lap data can be exported for analysis in third party data tools.

Built in editors
All data files can be created and edited from within the program using purpose designed dialogs. Where appropriate the data is represented graphically with curves or contour plots drawn as you enter the data. All tabular data can be pasted to or from a spreadsheet.

Open file formats
All data files are written in an open format which can be easily manipulated in MS Excel if desired. You can also use the ActiveX interface to automatically build files of the right format with minimal effort

Choice of fixed or variable characteristics
Where appropriate vehicle characteristics can be modelled as fully variable - e.g. aero coefficients as a function of ride height, tyre properties varying with camber or vertical load, suspension properties varying with wheel travel - but AeroLap also allows you to represent characteristics with fixed values, or with a single data point. This is essential when modelling aspects you don't have data for, and very useful when trying to isolate the effects of individual behaviours.

Choice of units
You can choose the units for all input and output quantities from a comprehensive selection. Units are set on a per quantity basis so you can mix units from different systems.

Built-in model validation
Before each simulation all input values are checked wherever possible for validity. If any value is outside a valid range you are warned with a clear dialog describing all problems found in the data. If you want to go ahead anyway you can override this.

 

 

 
Integrated with AeroContour output
AeroLap can use non-linear aeromaps created by AeroContour which provides data visualisation and regridding tools.
 
Integrated with AeroSusp output
AeroLap can use output files from the latest version of AeroSusp to define variable suspension characteristics derived from 3D kinematic analysis.
 

advanced features

AeroLap has many advanced features. Here are a few:

 

ActiveX simulation engine
The simulation engine is provided as an ActiveX component that can be used in any environment that can host ActiveX, for example Microsoft Excel or Visual Basic.

 lap time simulation automated by ActiveX

This can be used to create a command line version, running exactly the same simulation code but allowing fully automated runs controlled by your own code or tools. This has been used:

  • In Excel to set up parameter sweeps of, say, decreasing fuel load with decreasing tyre performance. Data can be wholly or partly sourced from the spreadsheet. For example most data could come from files saved from the standard version but gear ratios could be fed from a race engineering setup sheet.

  • With a multi-objective parametric optimiser to automatically explore the trade-offs between different parameters.

  • With MATLAB to drive a set of experiements.

comprehensive help

Full on-line help is provided for the object model.

Command line run automation
If you want to to automate simulation running but don't want use the ActiveX interface you can launch AeroLap from the command line with arguments.

Automatic racing state analysis
The car weight and weight distribution can be defined in a setup condition that is different to the racing condition. Changes are automatically accounted for in a static analysis performed at the start of the simulation. This allows you to try, for example, different fuel loads or to switch between setup and racing wheels without entering any new values for the suspension position.

Manoeuvre analysis mode
The basic car model can be driven with a set of applied conditions - speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration - which can be swept through a range to apply aerodynamic and inertial loads to the chassis and suspension.

manoeuvre or manouvre analysis

Recent Run History
Recently completed simulation runs are stored and can be recalled - complete with results - just by clicking an item in a list.

 

Open track sections
Tracks do not have to be closed - you can define open tracks as well. This feature can be used to define a straight-line drag strip - very useful for looking at acceleration performance, terminal speeds or gear ratio choice. You could also create a single or multiple corner complex taken from a larger track and then run the simulation just on that section to get a detailed understanding of behaviour through it. The start speed on an open track can be freely defined. Track creation is simple using the provided editor, or pasting data in from Excel.

circuit or track sections

 

Integrates with AeroContour to build non-linear aeromaps
Aero maps can be entered directly or or using AeroContour, a purpose written companion program for aero data visualisation and processing with comprehensive graphical output, available separately.

aerocontour - aerodynamic modelling

 

Integrates with AeroSusp for 3D suspension kinematics
Suspension characteristics can be modelled with fixed values - e.g. one value for anti-dive angle - or with a comprehensive set of values that alter with wheel position. These values can be entered in the built-in editor or you can use AeroSusp, a companion program for AeroLap which offers full 3D suspension kinematic modelling, available separately.

aerosusp - suspension modelling

 

OEM Versions
AeroLap
can also be supplied for distribution as an OEM or customised product, exclusive to a single customer. These versions can use an encrypted data file for one or more modules, which AeroLap can use but not display. New data files can be supplied by the manufacturer directly to a team. This allows the manufacturer to maintain complete privacy for its data while still giving the team a tool to set up their car with accurate data e.g. gear ratios could be chosen with confidence before the test or race.

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Defining the car