High Voltage works on the EV powertrain, it's power storage and delivery systems. Our main components are the accumulator, inverter, and motor. The accumulator includes our batteries and it's management systems, the inverter converts the DC from the batteries into the three phase AC that the motor needs.
The Aerodynamics subteam handles the design and manufacturing of all aerodynamic components and other various carbon fiber parts on the car. We split our subteam into four different subsystems: Front Wing & Nosecone, Rear Wing, Underbody, and Composites. Throughout our design phase, we iterate and optimize our aero package in CFD to produce as much downforce as possible while minimizing drag. We also analyze our components in FEA to ensure they can handle the aero loads and be within rules legality for deflection. Our manufacturing phase consists of making all of our molds and laying up our carbon fiber parts. Once cured and assembled, we run various real-world tests on the running car to validate our CFD simulation results.
The suspension team has the important task of creating a suspension that can transfer the loads, and therefore the performance, of the car into the tires and road. We take pride in our advanced suspension system and the fact that much of it is produced in-house. Suspension works closely with VD during the design and testing phase to tune the car for maximum performance. The suspension team machines more parts in-house than any other subteam so new members will quickly develop these skills, as well as prototyping and troubleshooting using 3D printed parts.
The chassis subteam is responsible for creating the chassis, the frame of the car. We design the chassis to the FSAE rules and work closely with other subteams to ensure that their subsystems can be attached to the chassis easily. We perform FEA (Finite Element Analysis) on the chassis to ensure that it is strong enough to withstand the forces that it will be subjected to and to determine the torsional stiffness, the main measure of the strength of the chassis. We also are responsible for manufacturing the chassis, using a combination of in-house and out-house processes.
Vehicle Dynamics (VD) is a new subteam to BFR that focuses on design, analysis, and optimization of the car's overall performance. This includes working with CAD, manufacturing, and testing with our data acquisition and tuning team, analysis work in MATLAB with our tires and lap simulation teams, and defining of suspension geometry and load cases. VD is both its own unique subteam and a blend of supporting and integrating work for several other subteams, primarily suspension.
The purpose of the drivetrain subteam is to design a drivetrain that can properly transmit power from the motor to the wheels; or in other words, make the car go. Thus, this system involves every component involved in that process including the motor, chain and sprockets, differential, and half shafts. The goal of our subteam is to reliably transmit this power while minimizing losses along the way. Without us, the car would just be a really cool looking wagon.
Much of the low voltage product is hidden behind the body panels but without them the car simply would never run. The low voltage team work on PCB design for the dash and sensors, as well as several control circuits that are critical for running the car. PCB desing, soldering and wire harness manufacturing are all key to this team. Working closely with VD, it is the low voltage team who are responsible for building and installing all of the important sensors on the car. Last year saw a huge leap forward with low voltage implementing everything from tire temperature to shock absorber travel sensors. With the switch to EV this year, their job becomes even more important as the battery pack comes with a whole spate of safety rules that require us to monitor many different parameters.
Despite our best efforts we still require a human to pilot the car…this makes controls one of the most important subteams, as it is their responsibility to make sure that the driver feels comfortable in the car and is able to interact with the car in a consistent and controlled way. Seat position, the pedal box, and steering wheel all fall under their control every year and in the past they have brought huge performance upgrades including pneumatic paddle shifting. Moving forward they will be just as important in making sure that the driver feels connected to an even more capable EV platform, with new members getting involved with drive-by-wire and regenerative breaking research as well as manufacturing the current design.
The Marketing subteam works on this new website and many other ad-hoc projects to help get the message out about Bruin Formula Racing! This is a new subteam to BFR dedicated to refining the branding and messaging behind BFR to make it more attractive to those from all backgrounds wanting to join and company partners. Working closely with directors and other subteam leads we are a very critical part of the team's non-technical function to help build support and rally around recent changes in BFR such as our powertrain change from ICE to EV.
The business subteam functions as the fiduciary to the organization securing funds through funding applications, outreach, and sponsorships. Acting on behalf of a check to the other subteams business is responsible for ensuring working partnerships and responsible planning go into all the teams social and capital investments to keep the team moving forward on progressing roadmaps.