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Enabling on-site sport aerodynamics with "the ring of fire"

Project nummer 
Deelnemende kennisinstellingen 
Projectleider A. Sciacchitano Technische Universiteit DelftFaculteit Luchtvaart- en Ruimtevaarttechniek
Type project 
1 november 2017
1 september 2021
Open Technologieprogramma

Presently, no measurement system exists that is able to capture the detailed on-site aerodynamics of athletes in action. We propose to develop the “ring of fire”, an aerodynamic measurement system that can be operated in a training track. The backbone of the ring of fire will be the large-scale tomographic particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique. When the athlete passes through the ring of fire, high-speed images are acquired, from which the three-dimensional flow field around the athlete is obtained, along with the aerodynamic drag. The data is essential to decide upon adjusting posture, selecting equipment or garments. The project needs to extend forward the current capabilities of PIV by using innovative helium-filled soap bubbles as flow tracers, so to enable measurements at the scale of a human body. The research plan envisions the interaction with a professional cycling team as a final proof of concept.