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What is Formula SAE?

The project involves development of an open-wheeled racing car within the specifications set forth by the North American Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE). Formula SAE (FSAE) is an annual university design competition held at the Michigan International Speedway during the month of May and typically attracts upwards of 120 student based teams from universities and technical institutions from around the world. It consists of three major stages; design, construction and performance testing of the vehicle.

The design stage involves extensive use of computer- aided design methods to yield a vehicle that is optimized with respect to weight, strength, dynamics, aerodynamics, noise, and propulsive performance, while maintaining low cost and high safety standards. Typically, Carleton Formula SAE racing cars include features such as electronic shifting, computer-controlled engine management, fully independent double wishbone suspension, and a tubular space frame. Construction of such a vehicle highlights design issues related to manufacturability, and provides an opportunity for valuable hands-on experience with a wide variety of advanced manufacturing processes.

The Competition

The vehicles are judged on two categories of events, static and dynamic. The static events include design, cost analysis, and marketing presentation. The dynamic events are based on several timed runs including: acceleration, skid pad (figure-eight), autocross, fuel economy, and a 22km endurance race. The cars are scored in each separate event.

 

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