The study of the properties of moving air, and especially of the interaction between the air and solid bodies moving through it.
We begin our aerodynamic design in 2D CFD simulation, using a student-written genetic algorithm to develop airfoil arrangements optimal for the size and speed of our competition. We then step into 3D models where we can study the effects of the chassis, ground, and tires. The result is an aerodynamic package producing enough downforce that the car can drive upside down at 69 mph. Each year, we take our competition vehicle to the wind tunnel at Modine Manufacturing in Racine, WI where we collect data to correlate our CFD models and study the effects of aerodynamics on the engine cooling system. Our wings are constructed of thin, high-stiffness carbon fiber skins over top of lightweight composite support structure. We use a resin infusion process for our wing skins, and like every other composite part on a Wisconsin Racing vehicle, the aerodynamic package is built completely in-house.
Before designing a new chassis, we put our drivers in a mock cockpit to test different seating positions, allowing us to tailor the vehicle's cockpit layout to our drivers' preferences. A lightweight carbon fiber seat, comfortable head rest, and easy-to-reach pedals allow the driver to remain focused on getting the car around the track quickly.
The shell for the steering wheel is laid up using prepreg fabric inside an aluminium mold. A metal insert is placed into the back half for mounting purposes. Then, the two halves are trimmed and the electronics are inserted. Lastly, everything is bolted together.