New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Aerodynamics of Agricultural Vehicles

Team: 71

School: Melrose

Area of Science: Aerodynamics, Physics


Interim: Problem Definition:

Agricultural vehicles today have a large use in this country and many others. This will eventually become a problem. As we use so many vehicles today eventually fuel will become extremely expensive or disappear completely. The efficiency of these vehicles must be increased in order for them to continue to be used. We know we can only postpone how long it takes for the world’s fuel supply to run out but we hope to stall this disaster until alternative fuels can be found. Today already many new fuels are being searched for and we already have found some, such as solar, wind, electric, etc.

Problem Solution:

In order to solve this problem we will find certain ways to create more aerodynamic vehicles. This will create not only more fuel efficient vehicles, but it will also create less need for fuel consumption. This will make it much easier for agricultural vehicle users because fuel prices are going up. We will try different shapes on agricultural vehicles on Starlogo TNG and see which shape works the best to help the aerodynamics of the vehicles.

Progress to date:

To today’s date we have a very good start towards our project. We believe we have figured out a way to test our shapes of vehicles in Star Logo TNG and we knew that this would be the biggest part of the battle. In this program we will create a virtual wind tunnel which we will use to test the prototypes of our vehicles. These shapes include both pointed and rounded fronts and will be tested with and without equipment on the back and front of these vehicles. Other things we have done is conducted research on how these vehicles move and react to different types of land, weather, and other variables such as soil type and type of equipment. The equipment includes plows, rotors, and box blades. All that is left to do on our tests is to finalize our model and test a couple more variables, work on our final report, and touch up on past tests to confirm the results.

Expected Results:

We expect that the more rounded front of the vehicle will be better than a pointed because today these are what are used on heavy equipment as well as many other agricultural vehicles. We expect that this will cause less drag as the air which will try to flow smooth will follow the slow rounded curves of this front. This would cause better aerodynamics and thus better fuel economy. This is the main source of our project and we have a few more tests before the conclusion of our tests so hopefully our current hypothesis is correct and we look forward to finding out.
Team Members:
Ethan Wright, Zack Perkins, Tristen Reed, and Justly Pierce
Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty and Rebecca Raulie

Websites used during research
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/farmmgt/05006.html
http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/machinery/heavy-equipment/?stc=usiia400809&gclid=CKjk8-7qiLQCFUWnPAod-gcAsA
http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2006-06-11/implications-fossil-fuel-dependence-food-system
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/asp/asl/2011/00000004/f0020006/art00036
Natural Laws of Motor Vehicles Glencoe Publishing 2006
Agricultural Mechanics elmer L. Cooper, 1992 Mechanics in the world of Agriculture
Agriculture Mechanics 2nd Edition Elmer L. Cooper, 1987 Mechanics in the world of Agriculture


Team Members:

  garrett wright
  zachary perkins
  Tristen Reed
  justly pierce

Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty

Mail the entire Team

For questions about the Supercomputing Challenge, a 501(c)3 organization, contact us at: consult @ challenge.nm.org

New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, Inc.
Post Office Box 30102
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87190
(505) 667-2864

Supercomputing Challenge Board of Directors
Board page listing meetings and agendas
If you have volunteered for the Challenge, please fill out our In Kind form.