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Wind Tunnel Testing Arctan at AeroDyn

At the start of this summer, the Stanford Solar Car Project embarked on a cross-country road trip to North Carolina to test Arctan’s aerodynamic performance.  Located in Mooresville, NC, AeroDyn Technologies was kind enough to discount their fabulous facilities and expert services for our student team.  Access to this wind tunnel enabled us to validate our aerodynamic modeling, find the vehicle’s optimal angle of attack, and characterize the airflow over the aerobody.

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The testing went very well, and the experience was a great reward for the team’s hard work designing and manufacturing the aerobody.  Our wind tunnel data revealed that Arctan met our percentage improvement goal from our previous vehicle, Luminos.  Now that this crucial component of building an ultra-efficient vehicle has proven successful, the team is working hard to make the rest of the vehicle’s systems similarly efficient and reliable.

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Arctan is the third SSCP vehicle to have made it out to AeroDyn, and the second after Luminos to have been characterized prior to WSC. (Read about our 2013 trip to AeroDyn with Luminos here.) With a mix of new and old members on this year’s trip, we’re hoping to have laid the groundwork for many future generations of wind-tunnel tested Stanford solar cars.

A huge thank you to the staff at AeroDyn for their support of our project over the past few years, and especially for all of their help during this year’s trip. Both the facilities and the people are fantastic to work with; thanks for consistently going above and beyond.

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