Baja is made up of distinctive subsystems where members can apply their knowledge and expand upon their skills.
The brakes subsystem designs a reliable hydraulic system that slows and stops the car based on driver input. The system works by converting kinetic energy to thermal energy. Pressure, wheel speed, and acceleration are investigated to validate and tune vehicle dynamics.
The chassis subsystem designs a tube frame that integrates the designs of all other subsystems into one cohesive vehicle. The frame also has to protect the driver in case of a crash or rollover.
Composites integrates and utilizes composite materials throughout the car in order to save weight while maintaining structural integrity.
The CVT subsystem balances the speed and torque transmitted from the engine to the gearbox to maintain the engine at peak power and maximize the car's acceleration.
Electronics is in charge of obtaining data from multiple sensors integrated into the car, through the use of our Race Technology DL1 club DAQ. This summer we hope to begin the foundation for our own DAQ, built-off of a microcontroller and custom libraries. In addition, we display valuable information to the driver during our testing days and in our competitions. This information is changeable based on the need of the driver.
ELECTRONS (DATA ACQUISITION)
The electrons are in charge of data acquisition, as well as live feedback and live display for driver.
The goal of ergonomics is to design components that integrate well with other subsystems to improve driver’s performance and comfort. Driver performance is crucial for our team’s performance, especially in the 4 hour endurance race. Integration with the other subsystems is also important because the driver doesn't interact with the components directly, instead ergonomics must bridge that gap.
The powertrain controls the engine and accelerates the car through the use of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), gearbox, and output shafts to turn the rear wheels. The CVT currently utilizes a Gaged Engineering CVT with a major focus on tuning to respond to any conditions the car sees and provide an optimal ratio for the situation. The student designed custom gearbox multiplies the torque of the Briggs and Stratton Model 19 and sends power through constant velocity joints to allow for suspension travel. Finally the custom hubs interface with wheels and tires tailored for each competition to put the power to the ground.
Quality control oversees part inspection and jig design.
The Baja car's steering system consists of an aluminum rack and pinion interface and is designed to provide tactile feedback and predictable handling for the vehicle. Steering assists suspension in creating favorable vehicle dynamics, with the main goal of preparing the car for the maneuverability event at competition.
Suspension kinematics is responsible for developing tests to manipulate suspension parameters with the intention to create performance curves. These curves are then used to create a compliant and maneuverable car.
Suspension structures designs and tests suspension components to maximize performance while maintaining a robust, lightweight system.
The shocks subsystem designs and implements tests to determine event specific shock tuning for the purpose of producing a reliable system with versatile performance. Compression and rebound damping are adjusted to maximize driver confidence and to enhance kinematic characteristics determined by suspension geometry.