Beating the Clock!
The U.S. won its first Men's Singles Luge medal, a Silver, in the 2018 Winter Olympics, having missed the mark by only 0.026 of a second. For the last decade, USA Luge has engaged teams of engineers using a computational design method to optimize shapes, testing the new designs in wind tunnel experiments, to create an ultrafast luge sled. Their sights are fixed on the 2022 Winter Olympics. Learn more at NSF's "The Discovery Files."
Credit: National Science Foundation
Beating the Clock!
Hi! I'm Mo Barrow with The Discovery Files, from NSF -- the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Olympic lugers have been known to reach speeds of close to 90 miles per hour.
After the U.S. won its first Men's Singles Luge medal, a Silver, in the 2018 Winter Olympics, having missed the mark by only 0.026 of a second, the team has their sights on beating the clock in the 2022 Luge events.
Using a practice of trial-and-error, lugers have traditionally built their own sleds. Yet, for the last decade, USA Luge has engaged teams of engineers tasked with improving sled design, the effort having helped to earn the 2018 silver.
With NSF support, a team led by Clarkson University engineers has created a cutting-edge, aerodynamic fiberglass shell. They used a computational design method to optimize shapes and tested the new designs in wind tunnel experiments to create an ultrafast luge sled.
The research also provided STEM students an opportunity to hone their engineering skills, not only potentially seeing their work used in Olympic competition, but the research could lead to future design enhancements in cars, trucks, ships, and airplanes, improving performance and reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
Whoosh!!! That is the speed with which NSF supports American Olympic athletes and the energized science behind their efforts to beat the clock!
Discover how the U.S. National Science Foundation is advancing research at nsf.gov.
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