NWO recently accepted a research proposal by Andrea Sciacchitano and Fulvio Scarano titled “Enabling on-site sport aerodynamics with the ring of fire” within the OTP (Open Technology Programme). The project aims to develop the “ring of fire”, an aerodynamic measurement system that can be operated in a training track. Presently, no measurement system exists that is able to capture the detailed on-site aerodynamics of athletes in action. The project is scheduled to start in September 2017.

The “Ring of Fire”

Presently, no measurement system exists that is able to capture the detailed on-site aerodynamics of athletes in action. This project proposes 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.

Bringing added value to society

The data that will be obtained are 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.

In addition, the aerodynamic measurement system will also have the potential to be scaled up to investigate on-site aerodynamics of cars and trucks, thus contributing to aerodynamic optimization of road vehicles and reduction of polluting emissions.

Connecting innovations

During the preparation of the proposal, Andrea Sciacchitano was supported by the Valorisation Centre of the TU Delft. The Valorisation Centre assists in setting up collaborations between industry, government and knowledge institutions to co-work on global challenges and bring innovations and stimulate the technology transfer to society. Curious? Click here for more information.

Do you have any questions about this research project? Please contact Andrea Sciacchitano: A.Sciacchitano [at] tudelft.nl.

Are you interested in meeting these researchers in person? They will present their research on 6, 7 and 8 June during the TU Delft Research Exhibition. More information and registration.