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February - The URE12 digital roll-out Special

We are ending February with a bombshell. This one is called the URE12! As you can see above, she is a beautiful piece of engineering just waiting to become reality. In this newsletter we will elaborate parts of the design. We hope to get you as excited as we are for the car presentation!

The URE12 design will be discussed according to the subsystems of the car: Chassis, Powertrain, Suspension, Control, Aerodynamics, Software and Electronics.
Chassis
The chassis of the URE12 consists of a full CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastics) monocoque. A sandwich structure is used with an aluminium honeycomb core. To make sure suspension attachments do not crush the aluminum core, balsa wood inserts are used at these critical locations. The chassis has a torsional stiffness from axle to axle of 3000 Newton meters per degree and weighs in at just 15.6 kilograms. As you can see above the chassis itself has already been produced. The in house production of this ultra lightweight chassis was made possible by the hard work of our team!
Powertrain
We are quite proud of the URE12 powertrain, as all its components are self-developed. From the electric motors in cooperation with AE-group to the inverters in cooperation with Prodrive technologies. Four wheel hub motors with a stepped planetary gear set create a staggering 1600 Newton meters of torque.
1. Electric Motors

The PM electric motors in the URE12 powertrain are custom developed in cooperation with AE-group. These motors are capable of 33 Newton meters of torque and can spin up to 18000 RPM! With a maximum power output of 30 kilowatts at a weight of 3.5 kilograms these are superb for the URE12. The motors will be tested on a test bench at the Electromechanics and Power Electronics research group of the TU/e, leading to an even better design in the future. The test bench is complemented by a torque cell provided by HBM.
 
2. Electric Drives

The DC accumulator voltage is inverted into a AC voltage by a custom URE developed quad inverter, weighing in at 12 kilograms. Both hardware and software are student designs. Together with the electric motors, this system is tested on the earlier mentioned test bench in order to maximise performance. This year we will use a liquid cooled drive with aluminium casing. The drive is capable of a maximum phase current of 200ARMS and a maximum output power of 4 x 70 kW! 
3. Accumulator

The in-car power supply, i.e. the accumulator, delivers a DC voltage to the inverter. Using a 96s3p configuration, good for 21 Ah at 355V nominally, our accumulator makes sure the high voltage system can operate at full performance. A capacity of 7.5 kWh with a self-developed battery management system and capabilities of storing energy when regeneratively braking makes sure the car will perform until the finish line. Finally, to keep everything cool, fans are placed both inside and outside of the package!
 
Suspension

The URE12 will feature double wishbone, push-rod actuated suspension with an adjustable anti-roll bar using flex blades. Toe, camber and anti-effects are all adjustable using shims, meaning set-ups are easily reproduced. The suspension geometry is complemented by custom-made KONI low speed adjustable dampers. Some parts of these dampers come from an actual 2004 BAR F1 car! Their extremely low mass in combination with custom Merwede springs make them a perfect fit for our set-up. As you can see below, production has already started!
 

1. Tires

For years, Vredestein and URE have been working together to create the best tires for our specific needs. With compound iterations and a self-developed rain tire profile the current tires deliver incredible amounts of grip in all conditions. This year, the development continues through improved on-track tire measurement methods using equipment provided by Kistler and ongoing in-house measurements at the famous AES-lab of the TU/e. 
Control

In order to optimise the handling behaviour of the URE12, the vehicle control software is of vital importance. A new control algorithm referred to as "Velocity Vectoring" has been developed as a graduation thesis for the Dynamics and Control Group, which allows us to merge systems such as torque vectoring, traction control and ABS into a single effective driver aiding algorithm. As this has already been tested and optimized on our previous car, the URE11, a good foundation has been set. When testing of the URE12 commences, further optimisation will make sure the system aids our drivers as best as possible while achieving unrivaled vehicle performance. Check out the video below for an impression of the algorithm on our previous car, the URE11:
Aerodynamics

The URE12 features a full aerodynamic package consisting of a front wing, rear wing and undertray-sidepod hybrid. The wings and sidepod are optimised using Ansys simulation software provided by Infinite. Using Ansys Fluent CFD software the radiators of the car were modeled in the full car simulation creating an even better representation of the real world.  An impression of the aerodynamic simulations can be seen below, these simulations show us the secrets of aerodynamics and how to increase aerodynamic performance of the car.

 
Software

We have collaborated with McCoy and Partners to create a dashboard which displays sensor data of our racing car. This dashboard is used during races and testing to instantly see the most important measurements of the car, and as such, to approach the limits of the car, the driver, and the track.

The sensor data is collected through a Raspberry Pi and sent to McCoy’s SAP HANA platform on AWS cloud. Two tables are filled with information from the car,  sensor data and messages. The dashboard is built as a webapp in SAPUI5 with the WebIDE, and also runs on the SAP HANA platform. The app consumes the data via oData services, and allows metadata about the race and test to be created.Read more about the system at the SAP website.

Electronics

The low voltage electronics part of the car creates a network of sensors and actuators all connected to the car's brain: the dSPACE MicroAutoBox II. With the use of sensor input such as damper travel, ride height, wheel speed and much more, the car is monitored real time and will respond accordingly. Topping of the backbone of the car an optic sensor by Kistler is implemented to increase vehicle state knowledge. The photo shows the current progress!

Hopefully you got more insight in our new car and got excited about its presentation! More information on this will follow in the oncoming weeks. For questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Finally a big thanks to all our partners and supporters to help us make this car reality!
Impression
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