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Volume 2: Issue 16 January 2010

An SAE International newsletter for sponsors, faculty, professionals, and students

The 2010 Silicon Valley International Auto Show Lockheed Martin At SJSU Leap with

During winter break, Lockheed Martin sponsored 30 high school students and their parents for a personal tour of the College of Engineering at SJSU. Student volunteers from all engineering disciplines were on hand to host the event.

Our student chapter president, Randy Floresca and Formula Hybrid team manager, Josh Hogan, had the opportunity to host a tour of the Mechanical Engineering senior design lab. They spoke about the machines and tools used for student projects like Formula Hybrid, Formula SAE, Baja SAE, and the Human Powered Vehicle. They also spoke about the design and manufacturing processes for our 2010 frames and differential components. At the end of the tour, all student volunteers were part of a student panel that answered questions the students and parents had. This was a great opportunity to share our college experiences with them and inform them about the great things the College of Engineering at SJSU has to offer.

For more information please visit:

Our SAE SJSU chapter had the opportunity to work with Motor Trend Auto Shows this month at the Silicon Valley International Auto Show. We displayed our 2009 Formula SAE Rookie of the Year racecar and also showcased a few components for our 2010 Formula SAE and Formula Hybrid race cars. We also met representatives from companies like Northrop Grumman, Rennwerks, and Club Sportiva. This event gave us a perfect chance to say thank you to Motor Trend and all of our sponsors for their support and contributions. This was a perfect venue for all vehicle and motorsport enthusiasts in the Silicon Valley. For more information please visit:

Formula Hybrid

Ready. Set. Roll.

A rolling chassis is a milestone deadline for any racing team to reach. Fortunately for us, our Formula Hybrid team is inching ever closer. With the frame, steering, and brake systems complete, all that’s left are our wheel packages and miscellaneous suspension components. Alta Design and Manufacturing, Inc. has graciously donated manufacturing time and labor to help us manufacture a few of our suspension and wheel package components. Our team is now focusing on composite fabrication, which covers ergonomics (fitting large drivers into small spaces) and bodywork. The set for bodywork on this year’s car February 9th is extra complex because we are trying to produce 300 cubic feet of air per minute to cool our batteries, motors, CVTs, engine, generator, and anything else that might experience enthalpy loss. Stay tuned for Rolling Chassis completion—now set for February 9th.

Rolling chassis

- Josh Hogan, FH Team Manager



Linear Technology designs and manufactures integrated circuits for various applications such as telecommunications, automotive electronics, and military and space systems. Renowned for their amplifiers, data converters, voltage regulators, and battery management solutions, they have become a Silver sponsor by providing various chip and data management needs. We will utilize these products in our data acquisition system, sending measurements of wheel speed, steering direction, and vehicle dynamics to our motor controllers. For more information please visit:

Alta Design & Manufacturing, Inc. is a local manufacturing firm specializing in high-precision machining and prototyping. In the industry since 1993, owner Steven Hernandez established Alta in 2003 and has since grown the company to include clientele such as Intel, Boston Scientific, and Lam Research Corporation. They have become a Silver sponsor and will be manufacturing a few of our components including uprights, wheel centers, and spacers. For more information please visit:

The Green Transportation Showcase Hosted by one of our Formula-Hybrid sponsors, Electronic Transportation Development Center, The Green Transportation Showcase was an evening event pitting industry investors with start-up green companies from around the Silicon Valley. ETDC, is a local incubator aiming to help foster and develop green transportation in the fleet-vehicle industry. The Showcase served to match alternative-energy transportation companies with interested investors and government officials. In attendance were city council members Ash Kalra and Kansen Chu, as well as Rod Diridon of the Mineta Transportation InstiThe Hybrid Team poses with District 4 City tute. We made several great contacts Councilman, Kansen Chu and his wife Daisy and most importantly, displayed San Jose State University’s #1 green initiative project: Formula-Hybrid@SJSU. Club Auto Sport, the facility that housed this event, is also housing the upcoming Art and Autos Show on March 5th. Our Formula-Hybrid team will be participating during the event, which will feature artistic and concept cars among the backdrop of Club Auto Sport’s storied vehicle collections. For more information please visit:

Many Teams, Many Needs Take three racing teams totaling over 100 personnel, five vehicles in various stages of manufacturing, three lathes, two mills, a horizontal-axis CNC, and various other machines then cram them all into less than 1600 square feet of facility space. What you will be left with is an awful lot of tension. Despite an SAE Student Chapter that makes some professional sections look elementary, we often find ourselves jockeying for position on a lathe, mill, bandsaw, or welder in order to make the next manufacturing step happen. It can be hard to decide if this is for the better or not. On one hand, the devotion and drive in each of our teams is a reflection of the positive effect that our projects have on the students and SJSU. The devoted project members simply love working on design, analysis, and manufacturing of their vehicle. Some members wind up spending unspeakable hours in the shop just to get time on a particular machine. Cont. on page 4

Many Teams, Many Needs from page 3

On the other hand, there is only so much a team can accomplish on limited resources. Some schools are able to offer their students full-scale wind tunnels, vehicle dynamics testing equipment, water jets, and CNC machines that would make an SJSU SAE student drool. The fact is that at San Jose State University, we are offered some of the best equipment in the Silicon Valley, but a school simply cannot cater to the needs of a full-fledged engineering vehicle development team (or three). Simple things like installing tires onto wheels or testing an engine on a dynamometer are things that wouldn’t regularly be seen in a collegiate environment. Our solution is teamwork. Be it Baja, FSAE, or Hybrid, the teams are in this together. We all make due with the same set of tools, and we all share the same living space. What makes us special is that despite our different needs and objectives, we work through the tension together and will motor our way to the finish line. - Josh Hogan, FH Team Manager



Vehicle Update

The hardest part about providing an update this month was figuring out where to start. January provided some of the best shop-time for our Formula-Hybrid team, and all three divisions (Chassis, Electronics, Powertrain) made serious headway in our last few weeks before the spring semester started. Collectively we secured $5,000 more in sponsorship which included raw metal donations, manufacturing services, parts discounts, and monetary funding. We jumped some major design hurdles, the least of which was a rule clarification that had us design a new custom battery management system.


The chassis team spent January preparing for our rolling chassis. Included in the February 9th deadline is a completed frame, wheel package, steering, braking, and ergonomics. The team also plans to complete the front bodywork and undertray by the end of February.


The powertrain team has come a long way in a few short months. Once a team desperate to get a lawn mower engine running, now have since turned into a team confidently taking apart and retuning CVTs and designing complete mounting systems. The team is currently working on a revolutionary sprocket carrier which will include the tripod housing and hub within itself. Stay tuned for Powertrain DesignRewinds to learn more.


The electronics team recently completed the production of the battery pack and busbar interconnects. The team was also able to complete our boost converter, which will step the power coming from our engine to the 96V that our batteries enjoy. Other team projects include motor control programming and design of our own battery management system—a task required by competition safety regulations. - Josh Hogan, FH Team Manager

Design Differences

During design, we are taught to first consider the application of the part we are making. From small, simple components to complete vehicle systems, it is vital to first have an understanding of the purpose that the part will serve. The same is true for our racing teams themselves. While on the surface Formula-Hybrid and Formula SAE might look to be a similar application, you will find that they are driven by completely different goals and objectives. FSAE serves the more high-power application, while Hybrid serves the more green-friendly approach to automotive racing. Along the way many paths will cross such as frame and suspension design. But deeper down, at the core of the vehicles are drive systems that couldn’t be more different if they tried. Both teams see their own set of challenges, needs, and experiences. What is important is not the difference between the teams as observed from outside the car, but rather the application fit that each team designs for.

The BIG Picture Automotive racing is all about having a faster car than the other guy. In the FSAE application this means that teams, regardless of affiliation or composition, exist only to try and beat one another on the track. Here at San Jose State University, this concept tends to manifest itself among our own racing teams. Hanging out in our shop you will regularly hear FSAE members harp on the Hybrid team’s designs, or hear Hybrid members talk up how much better their component is than FSAE’s. The truth is that the competitive spirit which drives teams to excel can also lead to negative interteam tension. What we aim for in the bigger picture is a group of teams devoted not to beating one another in design and performance, but rather devoted to helping one another come to an optimal design. Different people will see things in a different way, and two minds are better than one. Rather than use our resources individually in an ultra-competitive manner, we must step back and realize that as one school, as one SAE student chapter, we - Josh Hogan, FH Team Manager are in this together.

Carlos Ghosen, CEO and Chairman of Nissan and Renault

Meet with Formula Hybrid at SJSU Our Formula-Hybrid team was fortunate enough to have an interview with Carlos Ghosen, CEO and Chairman of Nissan and Renault. During the interview, Mr. Ghosen focused on the future of clean transportation and what his companies were doing to meet the transportation needs of tomorrow. The presentation was organized by the Churchill Club, a local non-profit that hosts dynamic business and technology forums. For more information please visit:


Formula SAE Site ite for for Sore ore Eyes yes

San Jose State’s Formula SAE teams is ready to kick off the Spring 2010 Semester with a brand new website. The site is designed by John Bernardo, an SJSU digital media arts major. Our site also features surreal photos by Thomas Webb, a fellow student and photography major. Our website includes team updates, media, project details, and a log in for any fan. The main purpose of the site is to say thanks to all our sponsors and donors as well as welcome students and professionals who are interested in what we do. Please visit us at:


Team communication, during our final design phase, has become a critical element to successfully completing this vehicle. Just as misinterpretation took place in the telephone game as a child, when, by the end of the line the word “floor” has morphed into “door” so too does it take place in the engineering field but with much greater, drastic consequence. It’s crucial that team members are always in touch with each other with as few middlemen as possible. Millimeters could be suddenly changed to inches and degrees could instantly turn into radians. These are simple mistakes with far reaching implications. To use a classic colloquialism, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” rather than describe something verbally, use a part drawing or a SolidWorks assembly on the computer . “The rear shock is in line with the axle.” How in line? How thick is the damper? How far away from the upright is it? Does the bellcrank allow lateral movement, toward and away from the front of the car? Does toe adjustment affect this? One well-dimensioned CAD assembly and a fifteen minute discussion between teammates can answer these questions. As crucial deadlines near it would be a very costly mistake for lack of communication to delay or prevent a successful engineering endeavor. - Shaun Flickner, FSAE Chief Engineer

Vehicle Update The past couple of weeks have seen a huge amount of progress on our formula SAE team. Even though time is tight and our budget even tighter, we are on track to get a running vehicle within a couple of months. Our chassis is 90% completed, missing only engine mounts and various brackets. In addition to this, our suspension team has a-arms and wheel packages accounted for and are currently manufacturing pull rods and wheel centers for the final push to a rolling chassis. In addition to this, Fox racing shocks has gone out of their way to provide us with a set of their top of the line RC5 dampers free of charge! Our engine team has picked up the pace after finding out the F4i engine they bought from ebay was toast. No compression in the 4th cylinder meant it time for a rebuild. After rebuilding it and running the engine on a stand to break it in, it decided to drop a valve into the combustion chamber. We are currently sourcing a new engine and investigating the cause of this major setback. Until we get a new powerplant delivered, we will be mocking up the drive-train and exhaust systems. More excitement on the way!

FSAE Tech talk

Side View

Safety Comes First The purpose of an impact attenuator (IA) is to absorb kinetic energy of the car in case of an accident, protecting the driver from any major injuries. The FSAE rulebook requires the impact attenuator to maintain an average acceleration fewer than 20g and maximum acceleration fewer than 40g in a direct frontal impact. The velocity and mass of the car, per the rules, is 7m/s to stop and 300kg, respectively. The rules requires a minimum volume; at least 100 mm (3.9 in) high and 200 mm (7.8 in) wide for a minimum distance of 200 mm (7.8 in) forward of the front bulkhead (FBH). It also states that during the crash any materials are not allowed to penetrate the FBH in the event of an impact. Aside from a direct impact, the rules also vaguely mention that the attachment of the IA must be constructed to provide an adequate load path for transverse and vertical loads in the event of offcenter and off-axis impacts. The IA is a two part system that is mounted on to the front of the frame, the FBH. The first part is the crush zone where almost all of the energy is absorbed. The second is the anti-intrusion plate that supports the crush zone from collapsing in the FBH area. The plate must be the thickness of 1.5 mm (0.060 in) solid steel or 4.0 mm (0.157 in) solid aluminum or a Structural Equivalency must be shown with Structural Equivalency Form (SEF) and supporting data. So for the IA: Objectives: • Pass front impact test • Pass transverse impact test Goals: • Minimize mass • Minimize volume • Avoid body invasive geometry Before designing the geometry of the IA, we had to decide how we wanted to test it. The two methods are static and dynamic testing. Static testing was done last year here at SJSU, with one of the Civil Engineering labs in the engineering department. It tested the energy it can absorb under a constant static loading. The sample tested was a

Cont. on page 8

Front Bulk Head

Front Roll Hoop

2009 Impact Attenuator

Crush Zone Anti-Intrusion Plate

Safety Comes First Cont. from page 7

small scale version and the data from the test was used to estimate a larger, full size scale. The test yielded a stress-deflection plot that showed the level of psi as the material was being crushed. We found that it passed technical inspection, however it was not the best way to test a real crash scenario. The problem was that it mimicked a static test not a dynamic one. The sample was used as an estimation, but it’s full scale testing that is preferred to ensure the geometry works on that level. This left us wanting to do dynamic testing. To the best of our knowledge, the SJSU College of Engineering does not have instrumentation that can provide accurate dynamic testing. We thought of building a horizontal chain pull system in conjunction with a DAQ system to do the testing but it would be very time consuming. Before deciding on a dynamic test, we did a preliminary static test for a comparison of last year’s 1”-aluminum honeycomb with 1/32”-aluminum shear plates versus aluminum foam. With the help of Professor Merrick, we able to reconstruct the exact same test as in 2009’s IA report. That means the same hydraulic press, force sensors, and National Instrument DAQ program. The data collected from foam tests were promising but we still needed to do dynamic testing. After researching and networking, we found our best solution at a company that one of our teammates, Peter Novak, works at WestPak, Inc. - Aung Hein, FSAE Chassis Team Lead

- Andrew Robertson, FSAE Chassis Team Co-Lead

Testing at WestPak, Inc

Westpak is a company that provides testing, consulting, and certification for products. Some of the services they offer are: Medical Device Testing • Sterile package integrity • Seal strength testing • Accelerated aging studies Product Reliability Testing • Vibrations screening • Margin testing • Scuff testing Package Performance Testing • Conditioning • Temperature & Humidity extremes • Mechanical shock Solar module • Temperature cycling test • Humidity freeze test • Damp heat test Above all that, they provide full customized testing for almost any application. They have two large facilities located in south San Jose CA and San Diego CA. They have been ISO 9001 certified for over 7 years and hold many other certifications that proves their methods and equipment for accurate testing. Westpak has agreed to fully sponsor our team in terms of what they can offer. They immediately worked with us to find a system that we can use for our impact testing in their San Jose facility. They also paid Peter to operate the system as part of his work. We have designed a procedure to find a suitable material for the IA and have started doing sample testing. More information on details such as the materials and their manufacturers, decisions made, and the results will be posted on the next update so make sure you check us out again. We greatly appreciate the generosity that Westpak has shown us. For more information please visit:

Baja SAE

Join Baja Who can join?


We welcome students from all majors to join. There are no GPA requirements or any cost obligation (besides the $10 membership to SAE if you wish to participate in the race).

What if I don’t have any previous experience?

Vehicle Update

The SJSU Baja SAE team has been making steady progress on the 2010 vehicle. Just a couple more tubes and the frame will be completed. Our small but capable team has seen many challenges in the fabrication of this design which included a variety of bent tubes, some which required 3-D bends. We’ve learned that it is quite difficult to bend tubes consistently when using a manual tube bender. It was also very challenging to notch those tubes and position them to make the frame straight. But we wouldn’t be doing this unless we loved it and we are very happy with the results. The frame is unique, aggressive, and functional. It would look at home on a showroom floor. It is also drastically lighter than last years frame, weighing in at just 63lbs. The main difference is our use of 1.25” OD x 0.065” 4130 tubing for the roll hoop and overhead members. This tube is lighter and stronger than 1”OD x 0.120.” We also increased suspension travel by decreasing the size of the footbox. Though more compact than last year, there is still ample space for drivers of any size. Our next priority is the design of shock mounts and a special method for mounting the rear trailing arm. In the meantime, Ballistics Fabrication has agreed to sponsor the fabrication of our suspension pivot point brackets. These will feature customized notches for ease of placement on the frame. They will also be a lightened boxed design to provide strength in bending. Look for a rolling chassis soon!

- Johanna Knudsen, Baja SAE Co-Captain

No problem. Most of the current members started off with little or no experience. The first step is to attend one of our weekly meetings (Saturdays @ 11:00am in E123). We have experienced members that will help get you acquainted with the machines (mills, lathes, etc.) used to build the vehicle. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS.

How do I get in the shop?

We work in the ME building and utilize the ME machine shop frequently. Individual access to the shop is under very tight control. Generally the shop is open on weekdays with our own SAE shop-techs providing supervision.

Can I use Baja for senior design credit?

YES! If you are currently a junior in ME and wish to use the Mini-Baja car as your senior design credit it is required that you first join the club for at least one semester before the start of your senior year. Mini-Baja is a full year commitment for senior design: ME195a & ME195b. There are limited spots in the class and time of participation in the club will be a determining factor.


Baja FreshSperience: A Freshman Experience

“The Baja: $exy. It really is, this new Baja has some of the nicest curves I have ever seen on one. Not to mention it already looks like we’re off to a better start than last year’s Baja. This Baja has allowed me to learn how to notch the tubes at some of the craziest joints. That’s not all though, the Baja project has also allowed me to become a better welder, work with machines I previously had no idea how to turn on much less work on. So far the Baja has been a blast to work on. I really find its one of the things that makes my week. We still have a long way to go before we even get a roller but I know it’s going to be a great Baja and I look forward to learning more about every aspect of what it takes to make it a successful off-road vehicle which this is going to be. The Baja is off to a great start, and it looks very promising for the competitions this year.”

- Ricardo Delgado, Baja SAE Freshman

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Upcoming Events January 30, 2010 Formula Hybrid Go Karting Le Mans Karting, Fremont February 1-11, 2010 Recruiting / Rush Week SJSU 7th St. Plaza February 2, 2010 Spartan Organization Fair SJSU 7th St. Plaza February 3, 2010 Student Leadership Council Meeting Engineering Building Room E285 February 4, 2010 Facility Tour for Don Beall Engineering Building Room E123 February 10, 2010 SAE International KickOff Meeting Engineering Building Room E189 March 20, 2010 Sponsor Appreciation BBQ Henry Schmidt Park March, 2010 Presentation By: Larry Rinek Engineering Building Room 285 May 3-6, 2010 Formula Hybrid Competition New Hampshire Motor Speedway May 19-22, 2010 Baja SAE Competition Western Washington

at San Jose State University

Newsletter Staff Editor/Writer: Randy Floresca Writers: Ruben Delgadillo Ricardo Delgado Shaun Flickner Aung Hein

June 16-19, 2010 Formula SAE California Competition Fontana Auto Club Speedway

For more events and updates please visit: Josh Hogan Johanna Knudsen Joey Penniman Andrew Robertson Darren Schwald

Randy Floresca President SAE International SJSU (510) 206 - 3229


V olumE 2: I SSuE 16 J AnuAry 2010 For more information please visit: For more information please visit: www.motortrendaut...

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