The aerodynamics of speed skiing

Mar 06, 2013

(Phys.org) —By studying the aerodynamics of speed skiing, Engineering student Robert Sills is developing methods to improve results of the British Speed Ski Team by reducing aerodynamic drag.

Major improvements have come from using data collected in a wind tunnel to change the tuck position adopt during races.

Robert explained: "In a sport where success is decided by fractions of a second, small adjustments can make the difference between winning and losing.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Credit: University of Cambridge

"I've been focusing on changes to a skier's position and equipment using a wind tunnel. I've developed a which allows the skiers to see on a display in front of them their drag in real time. The programme calculates the skier's joint angles and combines this information with their drag to find their optimum position."

The research also focuses on equipment modifications, mainly the shape of a skier's leg fairings (the streamlined shapes fitted around the legs to reduce their drag).These adjustments have reduced the drag of skiers in the by as much as 38 per cent.

Robert added: "Hopefully these changes will give the British team the edge over their competitors in the World Cup final in April."

Explore further: Circuits on demand: Engineer prints electrical components on paper

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Know-How Helps Athletes Rocket Through Water

Feb 12, 2008

When a swimsuit manufacturer wanted to create a better fabric for competitive swimmers, it sought out some unlikely experts -- aerospace engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton.

Low speed wind tunnel gets new motor

May 28, 2012

A new motor has been installed in the Oran W. Nicks Low Speed Wind Tunnel, replacing a 900RPM, 1,000-horsepower synchronous motor from Allis-Chalmers that was surplused by the U.S. Navy back in World War II.

Winter Olympics Science Notes: Skeleton

Feb 23, 2010

Shake your head as hard as you can for about one minute. That's how aerospace engineer Timothy Wei describes the sport of skeleton. And by the way, within that minute, athletes also travel head-first around ...

Ski Robot Could Decipher the Art of Skiing

Jul 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Watching an Olympic skier perform a downhill slalom, turning smoothly around the flags, makes the sport seem just as much an art as a science. Although advanced skiers know how to turn effectively, ...

Recommended for you

Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly

1 hour ago

Aiming to transform their concept into a real success, the Faradair team behind a six-seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) have taken this hybrid aircraft project into a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. ...

How polymer banknotes were invented

Nov 26, 2014

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and CSIRO's 20-year "bank project" resulted in the introduction of the polymer banknote – the first ever of its kind, and the most secure form of currency in the world. ...

Enabling the hearing impaired to locate human speakers

Nov 26, 2014

New wireless microphones systems developed at EPFL should allow the hearing impaired to aurally identify, even with closed eyes, the location of the person speaking. This new technology will be used in classrooms ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.