Blockage Correction and Reynolds Number Dependency of an Alpine Skier: A Comparison Between Two Closed-Section Wind Tunnels.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of blockage effect and Reynolds Number dependency by comparing measurements of an alpine skier in standardized positions between two wind tunnels with varying blockage ratios and speed ranges. The results indicated significant blockage effects which need to be corrected for accurate comparison between tunnels, or for generalization to performance in the field. Using an optimized blockage constant, Maskell’s blockage correction method improved the mean absolute error between the two wind tunnels from 7.7% to 2.2%. At lower Reynolds Numbers (<8 × 105, or approximately 25 m/s in this case), skier drag changed significantly with Reynolds Number, indicating the importance of testing at competition specific wind speeds. However, at Reynolds Numbers above 8 × 105, skier drag remained relatively constant for the tested positions. This may be advantageous when testing athletes from high speed sports since testing at slightly lower speeds may not only be safer, but may also allow the athlete to reliably maintain difficult positions during measurements.