This Sunday one of the most popular sporting events for tens of million people around the world begins. The Tour de France starts in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We will again see the world’s best top athletes fighting for the stage victory every day. We’ll admire them as they climb the steepest slope at an amazing speed and be impressed to see them completing a time trial at an average speed above 50 km/h. Throughout the past years, the regulations have continuously improved to guarantee a clean and fair race. As an example, during time trials, neither cars nor motorbikes are allowed in front of the cyclists as this would obviously reduce air resistance. Similarly, if a cyclist is catching up to the one ahead, they must stay on different sides of the road. However, there is no regulation to prevent a vehicle from following the athlete as it is commonly believed that a car riding behind a cyclist cannot influence him.
But is this really true?
You can’t turn on the news without hearing about the latest scandal to hit the sports industry. The New England Patriots — the National Football League (NFL) team that faces the defending champ Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX this Sunday — are under pressure (pun intended) for using under-inflated footballs when they routed the Indianapolis Colts in the recent AFC championship that decided who would go on to the Super Bowl. One of the theories around DeflateGate is that a softer, less inflated ball will deform more when grasped, making it easier to hold. This could make for a more consistent pass, or a softer catch.
So, as simulation experts, what can we add to the national dialogue? Good question! Continue reading
On March 27 at 4 pm GMT, 12 pm EST, I will have the pleasure to participate in an exclusive, one-time, non-recorded webinar hosted by SAE international with Al Peasland (Head of Technical Partnerships, Infiniti Red Bull Racing) and Nathan Sykes (Team Leader for CFD and FEA, Infiniti Red Bull Racing).
The RB10 Red Bull Racing Formula 1
Since the birth of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing (IRBR) Formula 1 team almost 10 years ago, simulation has played a vital role in assisting the team to develop its cars aerodynamics through its CFD software and services. I have been the technical account manager for the IRBR account for over 6 years. In addition to developing and solidifying our technology relationship, I have witnessed first hand the impressive integration of ANSYS software into a Formula 1 CFD process. I take great joy (and pride!) working tirelessly and collaboratively with IRBR to deliver technology that has proved superior in concept and execution, ultimately helping to design the cars that have delivered the quadruple championships, which have been awarded to the team over the last four consecutive years. Continue reading
Stacey Cook (USA) performing with the Rossignol skis
Wow, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi have been amazing and make me even more impatient to go to skiing in early April. I’ll especially remember three of the sporting events. First, Bart Swings from Belgium finished in fourth place in the 5,000-meter speed skating just behind a fully Dutch podium. Maybe aerodynamic simulation could have improved his performance and delivered him a place on the platform. There was also some great ski jumping where the skiers literally flew, and I found a flapping ski to perfectly illustrate fluid–structure interaction. I don’t know if this flapping is good or bad for performance. What do you think? Finally, I’ll remember the breathtaking downhill race. Continue reading
Are you ready for the Olympic Games to begin? Around the world, millions of eyes will be glued to the TV or Internet. NBC has 5,535 hours of coverage planned. Google has a dedicated website. For the next couple of weeks it will be a sports fans delight. At ANSYS, because of our work with Speedo, most of us will be particularly interested in the Swimming Events. Continue reading
In my last blog entry, I discussed the positive ROI for CFD simulation. The metrics used were very business-oriented such as reduction in lead time, costs, etc. A new example of this ROI is the fresh victory of Red Bull Racing in the 2011 Formula One season. For the second year in a row the Red Bull team has won both the Driver and Constructors’ titles for the 2011 Formula One Championship, thanks to a great Formula One design and a driver with extraordinary talent, Sebastian Vettel. Because of speed limits I cannot drive faster than 65 miles per hour (104 kilometers by hour) so I cannot even start to explain how Sebastian Vettel performs so well at the high speeds of F1 races. However, I would venture to claim his performance is partly due to a great car — a car designed using CFD simulation.