TU Delft’s Ring of Fire should help skaters to get that little bit faster

Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire is a tunnel containing thousands of soap bubbles filled with helium. The skaters drive through it. ‘By illuminating these bubbles with a laser and taking pictures very quickly with high-speed cameras, it is possible to visualize the exact airflow around the moving skaters’, TU Delft reports Tuesday.


Wouter Terra, researcher at TU Delft and NOC * NSF, explains: ‘The Ring of Fire is unique because it is the only measuring device in the world that can determine the exact air resistance of a moving skater. Previously, it was only possible to measure air resistance in a normal wind tunnel, with the skater standing still ‘.

Air resistance biggest opponent of skater

KNSB national coach Jan Coopmans: ‘Air resistance is the biggest opponent that skaters have to overcome. The less air resistance, the faster they go. This state-of-the-art measuring system helps in the search for less air resistance and thus more speed. ‘

Arm on the back or loose

Sander van Ginkel, embedded scientist at the KNSB, explains the importance of this measuring method: ‘Until now, we could only visualize the air resistance. Now we can measure the exact air resistance of different postures while skating. In this way we can make a substantiated decision based on figures instead of feeling. For example, we can look at the difference between skating with the arm loose or with the arm on the back. ‘


The fact that the Ring of Fire, invented by TU Delft, could be applied to top skaters is thanks to a collaboration with NOC * NSF, KNSB and Innovation Lab Thialf. Together, these parties help top skaters on their way to gold with the help of innovation. Kamiel Maase, TeamNL performance manager innovation & research: ‘As NOC * NSF, we want to ensure that TeamNL does everything just that smarter and better than the rest of the world. That is why we have been investing in research and innovation for years. Ring of Fire is a wonderful example of how science is literally brought to the sports world, namely the ice of Thialf. In this way, we will take the lead on the way to the winter games in Beijing in 2022. ‘

TU Delft’s Ring of Fire should help skaters to get that little bit faster
Source link TU Delft’s Ring of Fire should help skaters to get that little bit faster

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