Software-Supported Processes for Aerodynamic Homologation of Vehicles



2024 Stuttgart International Symposium
Authors Abstract
Homologation is an important process in vehicle development and aerodynamics a main data contributor. The process is heavily interconnected: Production planning defines the available assemblies. Construction defines their parts and features. Sales defines the assemblies offered in different markets, where Legislation defines the rules applicable to homologation. Control engineers define the behavior of active, aerodynamically relevant components. Wind tunnels are the main test tool for the homologation, accompanied by surface-area measurement systems. Mechanics support these test operations. The prototype management provides test vehicles, while parts come from various production and prototyping sources and are stored and commissioned by logistics. Several phases of this complex process share the same context: Production timelines for assemblies and parts for each chassis-engine package define which drag coefficients or drag coefficient contributions shall be determined. Absolute and relative measurement requirements are derived and used to create tests. The test results are linked to the requirements. Drag coefficient contributions for each assembly are derived from this. Combining this data with active components’ control concepts, drive cycle definitions and market sales programs, and following legal rules, yields the drag coefficients for homologation in each market. All of this must adhere to an ISO17025-compliant process in a manageable and efficient manner [4]. This includes optimization tasks for wind tunnel use, parts and vehicle availability, and task-organization for mechanics and operators – while keeping up with short development cycles and time-to-market pressure. We present a holistic solution that enables efficient and compliant management of this complex process: Open interfaces support flexible integration of third-party systems. Modular, configurable components offer the necessary flexibility for complex workflows. Combining data handling and planning tasks keeps all information within the same context. An intuitive user interface ensures a smooth and guided user experience. This sophisticated concept can also be transferred to other homologation processes.
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Jacob, J., "Software-Supported Processes for Aerodynamic Homologation of Vehicles," SAE Technical Paper 2024-01-3004, 2024,
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Jul 02
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Technical Paper