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Red Bull Formula 1 Team Wins using FieldView as Critical Engineering Tool
Posted Mon July 06, 2009 @12:36PM
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Application The competitive nature of Formula 1 racing and the short time periods between races make it imperative for engineers to fully understand aerodynamic effects and move new designs to production with speed and confidence.

Learning from high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and rapidly turning the results into design decisions is the rule at Red Bull Technology.


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With several thousand cores of high-performance computing (HPC) capacity churning out simulation results 24 hours a day, converting the solution data into key metrics, launching comparative studies, and understanding important flow phenomena requires robust, efficient tools. Red Bull Technology relies on FieldView™ CFD post-processing software from Intelligent Light to turn simulation data into actionable information in this highly productive CFD workflow.

Red Bull Technology’s engineering talent and investment in its CFD and aerodynamics groups helped the team bring an entirely new race car design to the Formula 1 series in 2009. Regulation changes allowed the Red Bull design team to start with a “clean sheet of paper” and design a car that performs well and meets the new rules. The resulting RB5 is one of the most innovative and radical cars of 2009, delivering both performance and control, as evidenced by Red Bull’s 1-2 finish at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19. But, because Formula 1 racing is never a place to rest on one’s past success, an aerodynamic redesign of the RB5 was employed for the British Grand Prix. The result was another 1-2 finish on June 21 at Silverstone in the United Kingdom.

The aggressive design reduces drag, optimizes downforce, and induces strategic vortices and flow structures, illustrating a thorough understanding of flow physics. The team is currently second overall in the F1 Constructor’s Championship and prospects are bright for the title chase in the second half of the season.

The strategic relationship between Red Bull Technology, Intelligent Light, and Applied Computing and Engineering, Ltd., the exclusive FieldView distributor in the U.K., has long been based on open discussion of the needs of the technical staff, with an eye toward steadily increasing overall productivity and utilization of HPC resources.

“Red Bull Technology is very happy with the relationship we share with Intelligent Light. The support, product development, and quality we receive from Intelligent Light and Applied Computing and Engineering is excellent,” said Peter Prodromou, Red Bull Technology’s Head of Aerodynamics. “This team plays an integral role within Red Bull Technology’s workflow and contributes to the success of the aerodynamics department through complex CFD solutions. The partnership will be a key factor in our further successes and will hopefully contribute to even more 1-2 finishes.”

Delivering commercial products to meet the needs of customers like Red Bull Technology has led to the advanced capabilities and performance found in the latest FieldView software.

“What the team at Red Bull Racing is doing is really exciting. It’s not often that the benefits of genuinely understanding the aerodynamics and complex physics related to a racecar and easily moving those insights through a productive workflow are so clearly on public display as is the case with the effective use of CFD in Formula 1 racing,” said Steve M. Legensky, Intelligent Light general manager. “We congratulate Red Bull Racing on their dominance at the Chinese Grand Prix and British Grand Prix and are proud to help all of our customers turn CFD into a competitive advantage.”

About Intelligent Light
Intelligent Light, based in Rutherford, New Jersey, was founded in 1984 in order to provide the scientific and engineering community with the best possible tools for understanding data and communicating results. Through its Applied Research Group and a global network of staff and business partners, the company provides computational fluid dynamics (CFD) post-processing and large-data visualization tools under the industry-leading FieldView™ brand to the aerospace, automotive, and general manufacturing industries. Intelligent Light’s unique development team is composed of CFD leaders, computer scientists, and visualization experts with a keen focus on listening to clients and delivering products that meet their needs. For more information, visit http://www.ilight.com.

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