Lotus Engineering Releases Dynamic Suspension Analysis Software

Lotus Engineering has launched its Suspension Analysis (LSA) software package, making available for the first time its world-leading suspension simulation and compliance analysis tool to the OEM and motorsport communities.

The advanced LSA software will be marketed and licensed through Lotus Engineering Software, a group within the world-renowned automotive consultancy that offers a range of automotive simulation software tools.

Originally developed in-house by Lotus Engineering for its world-famous ride and handling engineers, this is the first time that LSA has been marketed to users outside the company. Responsible for the vehicle dynamics of many of the world’s class-leading passenger cars, Lotus’ ride and handling team was integral to the design and development of the LSA software and continues to use the package for in-house and client development projects. The PC-based software has been continually updated and refined to keep abreast with the latest trends in suspension configurations, design techniques and analysis requirements.

“LSA is used by Lotus ride and handling engineers as it offers many substantial advantages over other suspension analysis packages in terms of functionality, ease-of-use, and reduced development time,” explains Steve Swift, Head of Vehicle Engineering at Lotus. “With the ever-present pressures to improve efficiency, this advanced and proven analysis tool offers the vehicle dynamics engineer an exceptionally effective solution.”

LSA’s intuitive interface, including a unique 3D-viewing and editing environment, inconjunction with its rapid computational speed, makes the software ideal for use by either designers or analysts at the concept design stage of a project. Common suspension layouts are pre-programmed into the software whilst the user-definable template feature enables unique suspension configurations to be constructed. An optional module permits the addition of compliant bushes, the rate, position, and orientation of which can easily be modified to allow effects such as lateral force steer due to compliance to be included in the analysis.

All significant suspension parameters are included in the output, including camber and castor angles, toe, kingpin angle, spring and damper ratios, and brake steer. Results can be displayed either graphically or numerically over specified bump, rebound, roll and steer articulations. External forces can be applied to the suspension as well as suspension spring loads, anti-roll bar forces and the influence of steering rack coupling and compliance. Calculations are updated instantaneously after each design change with graphical result displays being updated simultaneously.

Lotus Engineering is targeting LSA at suspension designers and analysts across a wide range of organisations, from OEMs to smaller performance engineering firms, from professional motorsports teams to private motor racing outfits. LSA is available through a range of flexible licensing options from Lotus Engineering Software. Bespoke training packages can also be arranged.

Published 24 October 2004 Melanie Carter
 

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