Design, Production and Calibration of a Combined Pitot-static and Yaw Probe


Name: Haakon Hjul Strand

Field of study: Bachelor in Physics

Position in Team 2023: Simulation & Validation

Why did you join the team, and how has your experience been so far?

Last year I lived with a member of Revolve NTNU. Hearing about the hands-on approach to solving problems made me extremely eager to learn more. During the last year I have developed as an individual, now knowing to a much larger extent where my limits lie. A big takeaway from the previous year that I am sure will help me in the future is the time management aspects, as working with strict deadlines next to full time studies is no easy task.

The thesis

The thesis I wrote for Revolve NTNU concerns the design, production and calibration of a combined pitot-static and yaw probe for Revolve NTNU’s formula student electric race car. Design choices were looked into, with rapid prototyping using 3D printing, and calibrations performed using the aerodynamic wind tunnel at NTNU. The design utilizes a pressure sensor that only weighs 18 grams, and the total design is approximately 100 grams. Weight is of course an important factor for a performance race car, so creating a design that is lightweight is ofcourse a large focus area.

Revolve NTNU has been making its own aerodynamic package, countless hours have been spent on creating designs, and testing them using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The use of aerodynamic elements on the car produces what is known as downforce, this pushes the car to the ground, without the actual added weight. To make sure our designs are optimal we put a lot of effort into validating the simulation setup, so we know we can trust it. This is where the probe comes into play.

The combined pitot-static and yaw probe helps us monitor the actual performance of the aerodynamic package, so how much downforce is produced. This is done using some simple physics that helps us estimate the velocity of the air, as wind does vary in both direction and velocity. The data collected throughout the summer will help us improve the aerodynamics of future vehicles, in turn making us more competitive.

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