Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optimized ski sled for Paralympics athlete

Date:
March 10, 2014
Source:
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Summary:
At the Paralympics in Sochi, a novel ski sled that has been optimized with respect to biomechanics and friction technology will be used. The high-performance sled might also be of benefit for recreational sports of persons with walking disabilities. With the help of biomechanical movement analyses, the athlete kneels on the metal sled and pushes it forwards with the help of ski poles.

At the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, athlete Martin Fleig will compete with a precisely adapted ski sled.
Credit: M. Scherge/KIT

At the Paralympics in Sochi, a novel ski sled that has been optimized with respect to biomechanics and friction technology will be used. The high-performance sled was developed by the MicroTribology Center, an institution of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials. The findings obtained under this "Snowstorm" research project might also be of benefit for recreational sports of persons with walking disabilities.

At the Paralympics in Sochi, ski athlete Martin Fleig will use a newly developed ski sled that is precisely fit to the individual needs of the multiple German champion in biathlon and cross-country skiing. With the help of biomechanical movement analyses, the seating position was determined, in which the athlete can optimally use his power. The 24-year-old competitive athlete, who has been suffering from walking disability since his birth, kneels on the metal sled and pushes it forwards with the help of ski poles. The sled was designed using 3D scanners and computers. "Adaptation of the seat to the body is very important to success. If the sled is part of the body, a maximum force flow and driving comfort result," says Professor Matthias Scherge, Head of the MicroTribology Center at Pfinztal near Karlsruhe. Scherge is a tribology expert and studies friction, wear, and lubrication. He teaches at the Reliability of Components and Systems Division of the Institute for Applied Materials (IAM-ZBS) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and coordinates the "Snowstrom" research project.

"For biathlon in particular, where the athlete lies down for shooting with a complex rotation movement and powerfully rises up to the seating position again, the sled has to be light and stable at the same time," Scherge says.

As the skis mounted to the sled do not allow for any skating movements, polishing has to meet particular requirements. Scherge points out that apart from the high performance of the athlete and his sled, the interaction of snow and ski is important for the sliding speed on the track. Temperature, humidity, and the shape of the snow grains influence the sliding of the skis on the very thin water film. Prior to the competitions, the "Snowstorm" researchers collected numerous data relating to the snow, track, and weather at Sochi. The models based on these evaluated data are used to support the Nordic Skiing paralympics team in wax selection, ski polishing, and ski preparation for the competition.

A consortium of partners from science and industry is involved in the "Snowstorm" project. Apart from the KIT and the Fraunhofer Society, the Institute of Sport of Freiburg University, manufacturers of measurement instruments, precision mechanics companies, and ski wax specialists located in Baden-Wόrttemberg are among the project partners. KIT's Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research supplies the athletes with weather forecasts for Sochi up to 72 hours in advance. These forecasts are important for ski preparation and will be updated daily. "We want to demonstrate that handicapped people can also do snow sports," Scherge says. He thinks that future construction of a simple version of the ski sled for recreational sports of people with a walking disability is feasible. "My vision is barrier-free skiing in the Black Forest for instance," the scientist says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "Optimized ski sled for Paralympics athlete." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310090747.htm>.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. (2014, March 10). Optimized ski sled for Paralympics athlete. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310090747.htm
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "Optimized ski sled for Paralympics athlete." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310090747.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) — Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) — China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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