Changes to F1 ground effect rules drive demand for Chell Instruments DAQ range
Changes to F1 ground effect rules drive demand for Chell Instruments DAQ range
November 16, 2022

New regulations regarding the aerodynamic phenomenon of ground effect on Formula 1 racing cars have had an impact on gas flow, measurement and control experts, Chell Instruments.

The 2022 season is the first for almost 40 years in which Formula 1 teams are able to more actively exploit ground effect, an aerodynamic phenomenon which creates a force pulling the car towards the track, increasing grip.

As a result, Chell Instruments, who support a number of leading teams with high-precision measurement equipment, have experienced rising demand for their nanoDAQ and microDAQ ranges.

“Our equipment is already used in both wind tunnel and on-track development. However, this rule change has clearly resonated with teams as they seek out our technology to help them take full advantage” says Jamie Shanahan, Sales Director at Chell Instruments.

Ground effect was initially experimented with by F1 teams in the 1970’s but outlawed in 1983 on safety grounds, as the increased corner speed achieved contributed to safety concerns at many race circuits.

As part of a number of changes, the option to exploit ground effect has returned in 2022, in-part to reduce the ‘dirty’ air which follows F1 cars and prevents closer racing.

As the underside of the car gets closer to the road, the gap or cross-section under the front of the vehicle reduces. Air passing under the vehicle is forced to accelerate, reducing its pressure which pulls the vehicle into the road, increasing grip.

Known as Bernoulli’s principle, this effect can be observed by holding a sheet on a breezy day and watching how it clings to the ground as it gets closer to it.

For 2022 and beyond, F1 teams are redesigning their cars, including engineering channels or ‘venturi tunnels’ which accelerate air flow under the vehicle.

“Like all aspects of aerodynamics, the benefits can be enormous and the difference between winning races or coming last. We’re delighted to be part of that challenge, supplying technology like our nanoCAT-LTM-32” adds Jamie.

Chell Instruments unveiled their newest development, a manifold mount miniature EtherCAT pressure scanner, at the end of last year.

The nanoCAT-LTM-32 brings together the features of two previous models and features mount which allows motor sport users to create their own manifold and test twice as many pressure channels at once in the wind tunnel environment. It is used in conjunction with the other nanoDAQ-LT and MicroDAQ3 products to provide a complete pressure map of the components in question.

“The nanoCAT-LTM-32 was created purely with our motor sport partners in mind. We understand their sector and their need for reliable, miniature and highly-precise instruments” adds Jamie.

Chell Instruments have designed, manufactured and supplied gas measurement and control instrumentation since the 1970’s. Their products are used for pressure, temperature and flow testing within sectors including aerospace, pharmaceuticals and energy, as well as motorsport.

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