RUAG has aided ETH Zürich university in improving its allconquering Formula Student car, by offering its expertise in wind tunnel work and aerodynamic refinement .
Formula Student is one of the most competitive and revolutionary of all race series currently being contested. Akademischer Motorsportverein Zürich (AMZ) Racing is the team from ETH Zürich university. The squad is currently the leading team in the championship, and has recently added the world record for ‘fastest accelerating electric vehicle’ to its already impressive trophy cabinet.
Aiding the development of the AMZ Racing project has been RUAG, which is also a sponsor and technical partner to the team.
Its 2014 car, Grimsel, features a number of key revisions over the 2013 car, chief of which is a reduction in weight of around 25% for the car’s four electric motors. This means that, while delivering 37kW of power, they weigh just 3.4kg. Other revisions to the car include a world-first application of adaptive damping, which uses a magnetorheological fluid to change the damper coefficient while the car is moving, and a heavily revised aerodynamics package.
RUAG’s involvement in the project was in relation to the development and refinement of that new aerodynamic package. “For 2014, we implemented a drag reduction system (DRS) on the rear wing, which helped reduce overall drag by 34% on the straights,” explains Jonas Abeken, CEO of the AMZ, ETH Formula Student project. “We also implemented a completely new undertray concept, which helped us gain quite a lot of downforce.”
These new additions were developed by AMZ Racing using CFD, before the university team turned to RUAG for confirmation of its work. “The work with RUAG was very important for us, as we were able to spend three days in the wind tunnel, which we used to validate our CFD work,” says Abeken. “We also worked on the setup of the car in various competition configurations, to allow us to balance the car, and extract the most performance.”