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Aero Experiments

Illustration for article titled Aero Experiments

Picture of test subjects.

So I have a “backyard engineering” idea, that might not be so “back yard”. If I were to get two string potentiometers and a data logger, could I not connect the potentiometers to my suspension and data logger as well as the TPS and speed sensor to the data logger to accurately measure drag, lift/downforce, and engine load? The system I am looking at would probably cost $400, but should give readings as accurate as about ±5 lbs of lift or down force and a data collection rate of 20 khz, which I feel would be accurate enough. Especially with so many people on the internet that think they know about aerodynamics, but don’t. Getting some real world data on popular modifications that do not have a lot of data could be useful to the community as a whole, as well as making my car better in the process.



As for the actual tests, there are several, relatively smooth roads in the area that all have low traffic and different speed limits. So, in theory, I could drive down each of these roads several times collecting data. I would then average out the data to create a graph and equation for suspension travel vs speed and throttle vs speed. Thus giving real world numbers on how slippery my car is going through the air and a way to show numerical improvement (or lack of) with modifications.



So if there are any engineering types reading this, why would this not work? I feel like this is just too simple of a solution.


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