ECARA is a forum in which specialists in the automotive industry and scientists in research institutions investigate fundamental topics in the fields of vehicle aerodynamics and aeroacoustics and wind-tunnel technology.

Included in this work is the development of basic physical knowledge pertaining to wind-tunnel design, with a particular focus on blockage effects and the application of blockage corrections. Not only does this lead to the establishment of a common basis for the comparison of results from different wind tunnels, but it helps to reduce the building costs of new wind tunnels.

Know-how in measurement technology - for example realistic ground simulation in the wind tunnel in order to correctly simulate road conditions during testing - is developed in a cooperative effort and is validated by means of extensive experimental investigations, both in wind tunnels and on the road.

The investigation of the effects of unsteady aerodynamics on vehicle behaviour is a further research topic. For example, analyses of turblulence in the wind tunnel compared with that on the road are carried out. Simulation techniques which reproduce the behaviour on the road as realistically as possible are developed. Particular emphasis is placed on the realistic simulation of flow noise in the wind tunnel to enable the aeroacoustic development of vehicles in wind tunnels to be carried out under as conditions as realistic as possible.

The above-mentioned areas of research are divided into separate working groups, and these groups discuss and analyse the results obtained during the course of the investigations on a yearly basis.

ECARA responds to the current demands of the automotive industry and offers support in the form of scientific investigations. The long-term development of the disciplines aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and wind-tunnel technology are ensured through the membership of recognised experts on a personal basis.