Researchers using science to decode the secrets of Olympic skeleton sliding

Posted By News On February 11, 2010 - 7:30pm
Researchers using science to decode the secrets of Olympic skeleton sliding

Wei is no stranger to applying science and technology to the world of sports. He has been working with USA Swimming for several years, using DPIV and other techniques to better understand how swimmers interact with the water. He also created a robust training tool that reports the performance of a swimmer in real-time, measuring how much energy the swimmer exerts with each kick. The tool helped several top-tier athletes trim seconds from their lap times.

Read more about Wei's involvement with USA Swimming here: "Top Secret Technology To Help U.S. Swimmers Trim Times at Beijing Olympics" – and watch the DPIV video of 2008 Olympian Megan Jendrick at: http://www.rpi.edu/news/video/wei/videos.html.

Wei said he's confident that the United States will have a strong showing in skeleton next month in Vancouver, and that he's looking at ways to improve his technology to be even more effective when training swimmers to compete in the 2012 London Olympics and skeleton athletes to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Using state-of-the-art flow measurements, engineering professor Timothy Wei and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., are employing science and technology to help the U.S. skeleton team trim track times and gain an edge over other sliders in the upcoming Winter Olympics. The researchers built a replica section of a skeleton track, outfit the track with several sensors and other technology, and brought in 10 skeleton athletes for a test run on the new system. This video shows one of the athletes using the test system, which yields more information than ever before about the science behind skeleton sliding.

(Photo Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Engineering professor Timothy Wei and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., are employing science and technology to help the US skeleton team trim track times and gain an edge over other sliders in the upcoming Winter Olympics. The student researchers developed new data collection technologies, including a helmet camera. This video is the "helmet cam" perspective of a skeleton athlete taking a test run on the track at Lake Placid.

(Photo Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

Using state-of-the-art flow measurements, engineering professor Timothy Wei and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., are employing science and technology to help the US skeleton team trim track times and gain an edge over other sliders in the upcoming Winter Olympics. The researchers built a replica section of a skeleton track, outfit the track with several sensors and other technology, and brought in 10 skeleton athletes for a test run on the new system. Pictured is one of the athletes using the test system, which yields more information than ever before about the science behind skeleton sliding.

(Photo Credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

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