Friday, November 02, 2007

The Car Equation

You've heard of the rocket equation, right? Some of you probably live and breathe it. Well, the Automotive X PRIZE has a blog post on The Car Equation. I'm not a rocket (or any other type of) engineer, but I do vaguely recall some school problems dealing with basic rocket/airplane/satellite equations (not "THE" rocket equation) that had a lot of the same factors (force, mass, coefficient of drag, cross section, velocity, etc ... just about everything except for coefficient of rolling resitance). That shouldn't be too surprising, I suppose, given the similar (at a high level) situation being modeled - cars, rockets, planes, or satellites moving through the (thin, in the case of LEO satellites) air.

The Automotive X PRIZE post uses the "car equation" to illustrate the engineering tradeoffs that the competitors in the Automotive X PRIZE will have to deal with.