Author(s): Dabnichki P, Avital E
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Abstract Bobsleigh aerodynamics has long been recognised as one of the crucial performance factors. Although the published research in the area is very limited, it is well known that the leading nations in the sport devote significant resources in research and development of sleds' aerodynamics. However, the rules and regulations pose strict design constraints on the shape modifications aiming at aerodynamics improvements. The reason for that is two-fold: (i) safety of the athletes and (ii) reduction of equipment impact on competition outcome. One particular area that has not been looked at and falls outside the current rules and regulations is the influence of the crew positioning and internal modifications on the aerodynamic performance. The current study presents results on numerical simulation of the flow in the cavity underpinned with some experimental measurements including flow visualisation of the air circulation around the bobsleigh. A simplified computational model was developed to assess the trends and its results validated by windtunnel tests. The results show that crew members influence the drag level significantly and suggest that purely internal modifications can be introduced to reduce the overall resistance drag.
This article was published in J Biomech
and referenced in Journal of Biometrics & Biostatistics