Submitted by Richard Smith on July 3, 2012 - 13:16
Say you've been tasked with designing a new water pleasure craft optimized for speed called the Slickjet (fictional name). You ask the fundamental question - how do you travel fast through water? Easy, get as much of your Slickjet out of the water as you can. You know that the drag force acting on a totally submerged shape in water will be about 1000 times higher than for the same shape in air - the drag force scales according to the density of the fluid and water is 1000 times denser than air. Of course this assumes you are willing to get FAA approval for an aircraft rather than a boat. However, there is an alternative in that if you can somehow cocoon parts of your Slickjet in an air bubble as it moves through the water then you can convince the physics that those parts of your Slickjet are moving through air rather than water. This process is known as super cavitation and results in the drag forces acting on those parts of your Slickjet being more like those encountered in air rather than water.
Submitted by Richard Smith on June 7, 2012 - 13:33
Cycling is one of the fastest sports in the Olympics. With that speed comes an increased importance on aerodynamics. In cycling the aerodynamic design is focused on minimizing drag. However, as with swimming, there are carefully crafted rules that ensure there is only a narrow scope for aerodynamic optimization to gain a competitive advantage.
Submitted by Richard Smith on May 22, 2012 - 08:45
A big draw of any Olympics is the track and field (athletics) events and no less so in London. What effect is the application of fluid technology to these events likely to have? If past Olympics are anything to go by - not much!
Another helium-filled post - this time it's a helium-filled blimp that houses a horizontal-axis wind turbine [source: gizmag]. Altaeros Energies recently released a video of their prototype Airborne Wind Turbine in action:
Submitted by Richard Smith on April 30, 2012 - 12:59
Who knew that tetrahedra could fly? I know, pretty much anything can fly when you fill it with helium, but the movement of helium-filled tetrahedra called SmartInversion by Festo gives rise to an interesting and unusual propulsion method [source: gizmag]. Using inverse kinetics, Festo have developed what they call an "airborne geometrical band with inversion drive". The movement is difficult to describe but mesmerizing to watch:
Submitted by Richard Smith on April 23, 2012 - 11:54
Fishermen at Lake Como, Italy, have shown remarkable knowledge of the complex water currents in the lake. Researchers found [source: Science Mag] that the fishermen's knowledge correlated well with independent observations and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The primary means the fishermen use to monitor water currents is by the deformations the currents cause in their large nets once deployed in the lake.
Submitted by Richard Smith on April 1, 2012 - 00:00
Big news from Europe - a new European directive has just been passed that requires all software applications released in the European Union to support the Esperanto language by June 2012. This is part of a larger European directive mandating that all European countries are to adopt Esperanto as the Europe-wide common language by 2014.