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: Breakthrough capability keeps subs, ships on safe track

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

Breakthrough capability keeps subs, ships on safe track

Dec 16, 2014

Interactive software that can dramatically cut the time it takes to plan safe submarine missions is crossing over to the surface fleet and is being installed this month on the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

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.