Sponsors, supporters, family and friends, welcome to the second instalment of the Adelaide University Motorsport Team’s quarterly newsletter for 2016. This second issue includes an update from Project Manager Jamie Morton, an engineering update including our recent success with the engine, an overview of the car’s paddle shift design, as well as a community involvement highlight at RAA Street Smart High.
For more team news and updates, please visit our social media pages and websites (links below). We hope that 2016 is progressing well for you.
2016 Business Editor
Project Manager’s Update
To our Sponsors, Supporters, Family and Friends,
2016 is shaping up to be another challenging year, but a more successful one for the team. After two years of reliability issues, the team has decided to move our focus away from outright performance and towards car reliability and knowledge transfer. This change in direction has necessitated some tough decisions in an effort to improve the overall performance of the business and engineering teams, and to limit risks, in order to ultimately build the foundations for a strong performance at competition in 2016 and 2017.
Our most difficult decision to date has been in regards to our new chassis. With a new suspension configuration, strategically-placed weight for a lower centre of gravity, and overall size and weight reductions, our new chassis and suspension concepts are a significant step in improving outright performance. However, using a new chassis also introduces an element of risk of unknown factors and issues; combined with a lack of sufficient testing time and our emphasis on reliability over performance, these risks were deemed too significant for the team to take in 2016.
Thus, the team has turned its focus onto remanufacturing the current chassis, with a few performance tweaks. As well as allowing us to take a reliable package to competition, this also allows more time to be spent on the design and integration of other systems for the new chassis, and on incorporating new team members to promote knowledge and skills transfer. Additionally, manufacture of the new chassis can begin in January 2017, allowing more time to fully optimise the new car for the 2017 competition.
Nevertheless, there is much to look forward to in ADL-16, including, but not limited to:
- A new aerodynamic package incorporating 3D elements;
- A pneumatic paddle shift control system and ignition cut, to improve overall car speed;
- A new electrical loom;
- Improved driver ergonomics;
- And a focus on car set-up and validation.
With the engine also being successfully fully rebuilt and a lot more time dedicated to testing, car set-up, and driver training, the team is in a strong position to challenge the top 10 in 2016.
Behind the scenes, the team’s structure and personnel is also being improved considerably in 2016. Although the end of the 2014/15 season meant the AUMT had to say goodbye to a lot of experience and knowledge, this gap has already been filled with over 20 new members spanning from engineering, science, business and media, from a range of levels. While this does mean our management teams are very young in respect to both the team and their degrees, their enthusiasm and passion has helped them step up to the challenge and bring new ideas to the table. With so many new members, the business team has been able to double in size, a much needed boost which already is producing results with new sponsorship announcements to be made soon. With a much bigger focus on the teams longevity and ensuring the documentation and resources are there for years to come, there are many exciting changes on the way that we look forward to sharing with you as the team progresses.
On behalf of all the team, I thank you for your time, patience, and most importantly, your support. We look forward to having you on this journey with us and wish you all the best in your endeavours in a quickly disappearing 2016!
2015/16 Project Manager
Community Involvement – RAA Street Smart High
The AUMT was pleased to be invited to this year’s RAA Street Smart High, an event held by the RAA to promote road-safety awareness among young people. ADL-15 was displayed at the entrance to the Entertainment Centre, where our team members had the opportunity to talk to high-school students and teachers from all over South Australia about our project.
The event is heavily focused on education and featured a range of engaging and informative presentations, including several heartbreaking stories from people who have either been involved in a road accident, and a discussion on organ donation by Dr Stewart Moodle from DonateLife SA. A particularly engaging segment was the crash scene scenario narrated by Dr Bill Griggs of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Trauma unit, which demonstrated the horrific reality of a crash and the different ways it can affect people, both directly and indirectly.
During the lunchbreak the team engaged with the students and teachers, explaining what Formula SAE is to those who did not already know, and what the AUMT does throughout the year. We also allowed students to sit in the car and have their picture taken if they wanted. Although most students did not know much about FSAE, they were impressed to realise that our project is entirely student-run, and one student even expressed that she would love to go to university, just so she could get involved with Formula SAE!
The AUMT would like to thank RAA for holding this fantastic event and allowing us to be a part of it again. For more information on Street Smart High, please click through on the link here.
Engineering Team Management
Engineering Manager’s News
Since our last newsletter, a lot of water has passed under the team’s bridge. The university year is in full swing and the team has made considerable progress on several engineering projects.
Atop the list is the rebuild of our car’s Yamaha YZF-R6 engine, shown below, which is now all but complete. Sporting a new crankcase, crankshaft, pistons and rings, connecting rods, bearings, gaskets and seals, the motor has received a substantial freshen up, not seen often by the team. The engine is now back in the car, connected to all ancillary components, running and ready to hit the dynamometer for a power reading and solid tune.
Although it took its fair share of time, the engine rebuild has been invaluable to the team. First and foremost, it is set to restore considerable reliability and power to the motor, while also providing many team members with a rare opportunity to get hands on and come to appreciate the workings and tolerances involved in such a complex piece of equipment.
At this point I would like to send a special mention to Rob Dempster, Scott Letton and Steven Smith from the Mechanical Engineering workshop at the university; your assistance, lending of tools and a space to work in, numerous late nights and laughs shared with all of us are greatly appreciated!
Please click here to check out a time lapse video of the engine rebuild!
Our new aerodynamic package for 2016 is well on the way to being finalised. Courtesy of Nat Shearer, Ryan Schulz and Tim Engel, the foam cores and moulds for all wing elements are now complete and being sent off to our sponsors ready to be produced.
Nat, Ryan and Tim have also nearly finished the bodywork for the car. They have been joined by two new team members for 2016, Aidan Scanlon and Leon Immelman, who are designing the side pods to attach to the sides of the chassis. It is rewarding to not only see the progress of Nat, Ryan and Tim, but now their passion for helping out Aidan and Leon as well.
With nearly two thirds of Semester 1 gone, the year is really starting to fly past! By the next time I speak to you, the bulk of our major projects for 2016 will (hopefully!) be fully designed and well into being manufactured. To finish off, I will quickly say thanks to all of the new team members who have taken on a project. Although your projects might not be as big, everything from the fuel filler to the muffler is important to the car and team in some way.
Remember, only 208 sleeps remain until Formula SAE Australasia 2016!
Engineering Project: Paddle Shift Design
My name is Matthew Howe and I am currently working alongside Nima Namjouyan and Jonathan Stephens on a design for an electronic gear shifter with flappy paddles. It is an exciting project, as we are employing a method for gear-shifting which has not previously been used by the team.
In approaching the design, we aimed to both significantly reduce the time required for a gear shift and to allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel. This would have the potential to greatly improve lap times at competition.
This radically different approach to past gear shifters has allowed us to work from a clean slate, and two different systems will be tested for the final design. After five weeks of intense research and preliminary design into both systems, we have created solutions which fulfil all of our requirements, and are moving onto the final stages of Computer Aided Design and prototype testing for each system.
The first system uses an electrically driven linear actuator, which has the advantage of being powered directly from the on-board battery. The second is a pneumatic device, which allows the use of paintball parts, which are designed to be extremely lightweight but safe to use.
After the team has developed a working prototype and chosen a final design, it will be fitted to ADL-16 for testing and optimization. We anticipate that our design will allow the gear shift times to be shorter and more controlled, which may give us an edge in what we are expecting to be a tight competition this December.
Design Team Member