Date of Award
Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2023.
This following thesis presents the development and evaluation of an active car spoiler system designed to adjust its angle of attack based on the prevailing driving conditions in real-time. The project aimed to enhance the vehicle's acceleration, handling, and braking, by actively modifying the spoiler's angle of attack to optimize downforce and drag for a variety of driving scenarios. Research was conducted using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software and vehicle dynamics modeling to collect precise calculations and results for a number of wind speeds. The analysis process incorporated iterative refinement of the airflow around the spoiler considering factors such as mesh size, shape, and physical placement of the spoiler relative to the car to maximize the benefits of the various levels of downforce and drag created at different angles of attack. The computational analysis utilized advanced CFD techniques such as turbulence modeling, wake refinement, and solution convergence, to simulate and analyze the airflow around the spoiler with varying angles. With the active spoiler mounted on a Mazda Miata, the vehicle is able to improve its maximum acceleration force by 12.5%, rescue cornering radius by 0.3%, and improve braking force by 5.4%. All of these improvements will have an immense impact on a vehicle especially under performance racing situations when fractions of a second are of great importance.
Marouf, Kaiden; McCabe, Connor; and Nelson, Shane, "Active Car Spoiler" (2023). Mechanical Engineering Senior Theses. 125.