Uncertainty Quantification of Motorcycle Racing Upstream Flow Conditions

Christoph Simon Feichtinger*, Peter Fischer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The upstream flow conditions and the use of tractive power to accelerate a vehicle are both sources of energy loss. The vehicle speed and the upstream flow conditions result in the oncoming wind vector experienced by the moving vehicle. The aim of the present work is to show a new approach to consider the chaotic and random behavior of surrounding flow conditions and their influence on driving performance. The approach is shown for the example of motorbike racing conditions. Special interest was put on a description of the flow conditions with respect to well know turbulent flow field parameters like the turbulent length scale or the turbulence intensity. Depending on where the flow conditions are measured, stationary in the earth reference frame, or on a moving vehicle, it is quite difficult to get a robust description of the flow field parameters. These parameters are used together with the Reynolds number to predict the aerodynamic behavior by correlation functions or maps. Aerodynamic characteristics of vehicles are typically determined in wind tunnels or through numerical simulation for specific flow conditions. As the determination of all these dependencies is difficult for complex shapes the presented approach uses stochastic sensitivity analysis to quantify the influence of the upstream flow condition uncertainties. The test case for this is a generic multi-body model of a motorbike which is accelerating and driving through different environmental flow conditions. The time and the speed at defined observation points are used to quantify the influence of the upstream flow conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAE Technical Papers
Issue numberApril
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020
EventSAE 2020 World Congress Experience: WCX 2020 - Detroit, United States
Duration: 21 Apr 202023 Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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