Richard Smith's blog

Tetrahedra Take Flight

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:

Fishy Fluid Dynamics

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.

Fishing NetFishing Net© Copyright Peter Church and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Esperanto For Computational Fluid Dynamics

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.

Caedium in EsperantoCaedium in Esperanto

How to Lose F1 Races with a Wind Tunnel and CFD

I recently came across a blog post "How to lose races with CFD" [source: Another Fine Mesh] related to the CFD-only strategy pursued by the Marussia Formula 1 Team (formerly Virgin Racing) during the 2010 and 2011 F1 seasons. It seems such an easy conclusion to make, right? During its first 2 F1 seasons the Marussia team garnered a lot of publicity thanks to their CFD-only (no wind tunnel testing) strategy and during that period they didn't win a race, therefore CFD must lose races, right? Not so fast.

Flying Humans Spotted Over New York

Yes you read that right - three humans were recently spotted flying over New York without a jetpack in sight. Don't believe me? Then watch this video:

I See Flying People

Puddle: Another Fluid Game

Do you sometimes feel like your Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation just needs a little nudge to do the right thing? Well I'm sure you'll appreciate (need even!) some light relief with the fluid-based video game Puddle. Puddle is all about nudging and manipulating the world so your precious fluid gets to its destination through a fiendish puzzle-like maze.

Puddle For Xbox Live

Fluid Wrist Watch for a Fluid Dynamicist

Any fluid dynamicists out there searching for just the right wrist watch? Well the search is over, check out the HYT H1 [source: Gizmodo] fluid-themed watch from "The Hydro Mechanical Horologists" - try saying that after too much fluid!

An Update on HPC's Missing Middle

The report "Council on Competitiveness and USC-ISI Broad Study of Desktop Technical Computing End Users and HPC" [pdf] by the Council on Competitiveness and sponsored by DARPA in 2008 found that a large number of companies deployed virtual prototyping and data modeling software (e.g., Computational Fluid Dynamics [CFD]) on entry level High Performance Computing (HPC) or desktop computers as opposed to realizing the performance and fidelity gains available with true HPC systems. In a subsequent follow up report [pdf] the authors coined the phrase 'the missing middle' to describe the gap in HPC usage.

RC Car Integrates Advanced Aerodynamics Package

Going fast and aerodynamics are intimately related, whether it's for a Formula 1 car or in this case for a remote control (RC) car. The Traxxas XO-1 is billed as "The World's Fastest Ready-To-Race Supercar" with a 0-100 mph time of under 5 seconds. More interesting than its out-and-out straight-line speed is that this RC car employs advanced aerodynamics for generating downforce.

CFD Study Confirms Fabric Ducts Are More Efficient Than Metal Ducts

An extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study [pdf] performed over 10 months by a team at Iowa State University [source: green building pro] confirmed what many room occupants long suspected - that fabric ducts offer better indoor air comfort compared to traditional metal ducts. Equally impressive, the study found that the fabric ducts provided a 22-27% improvement in energy efficiency compared to equivalent metal ducts.

Fabric Duct Example

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