Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Space Technology Hits The Slopes

Date:
April 12, 2004
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
Using technology from Europe's space programme ski maker Rossignol hopes to beat the world speed skiing record at Les Arcs Pro Mondial in France next week.

Using technology from Europe's space programmes, ski maker Rossignol hopes to beat the world speed skiing record at Les Arcs Pro Mondial in France, 13-18 April 2004. Using skis stabilised by a mechanism originally developed for ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, the aim is to reach an astonishing 255 km/h down the slopes.
Credit: s: Skis Rossignol S.A.

Using technology from Europe's space programme ski maker Rossignol hopes to beat the world speed skiing record at Les Arcs Pro Mondial in France next week. Using skis stabilised by a mechanism originally developed for ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, the aim is to reach an astonishing 255 km/h down the slopes.

Related Articles


Skis Rossignol teamed up with ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme to identify innovative technologies which could help beat the records. A world championship title in 2003 showed that they were on the right track, although they did not top the 2003 record of 250.7 km/h. "We established the collaboration with ESA's Technology Transfer Programme to study carefully how skis behave on snow, and determine technological solutions to optimise the gliding factor," says Matthieu Leger, Research and Innovation at Skis Rossignol SA.

The control of ski vibrations was an obvious target. "Next to wind resistance, vibrations are the single most important element limiting the top speed we can reach," explains Rossignol’s Martin Lachaud, 2003 Pro Mondial world champion.

Rosetta spacecraft technology to control ski vibration The approach was first to identify the heat zones on the gliding surfaces and peak temperatures within particular zones, in order to understand how friction transforms snowflakes into water droplets. A ski was fitted with 60 thermo-couplers gliding tests proved that heating by friction creates a film of water, providing the best gliding conditions.

The next step was to understand the influence of ski vibrations on this water film. "Vibrations and related damping greatly influence the contact time the ski base is gliding on the snow to create the water film," explains Leger.

In field tests, seven accelerometers fitted on skis identified the most important vibrations. Knowing how stiffness influences the speed, "we understood that to increase speed characteristics on a determined snow structure, we must achieve different damping coefficients for the different types of vibrations."

"We decided to intervene initially on the most important type of vibration, to obtain the best effect," says Leger. A vibration control system was developed to control the ski vibration and to get the best water film thickness, to maximize gliding conditions.

The heart of the system is an amplified piezo-actuator from the French company Cedrat Technologies. This type of piezo technology was originally researched and developed for ESA and the French Space Agency CNES for space applications and used on the MIDAS instrument aboard ESA’s Rosetta comet chaser, launched last month.

Matthieu Leger was amazed when he first saw the lab test results. "We can increase the damping 50 times when using this system! In addition, the vibration control system alters only this one parameter without conflicting with other properties of the ski."

"I am looking forward to trying the new skis with the vibration control system from space at this year’s Les Arcs Pro," adds Lachaud, as he prepares to challenge the world record with the new 'space' skis at Les Arcs Pro Mondial 13-18 April.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "Space Technology Hits The Slopes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040412014441.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2004, April 12). Space Technology Hits The Slopes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040412014441.htm
European Space Agency. "Space Technology Hits The Slopes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/04/040412014441.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) Lunar Mission One is offering to send your digital memory (or even your DNA) to the moon to be stored for a billion years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) Serious accidents with two US commercial spacecraft within a week of each-other in October have re-ignited the debate over the place of private corporations in the exploration of space. Duration: 02:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lunar Mission One Could Send Your Hair to The Moon

Lunar Mission One Could Send Your Hair to The Moon

Buzz60 (Nov. 19, 2014) A British-led venture called Lunar Mission One plans to send a module to the moon with keepsakes from Earth. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) tells you how to get your photos and DNA onboard. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins