AERODYNAMICS OF SAILS
Despite of their limited aspect ratio, modern sails designed for downwind conditions allow very high lift forces to be obtained compared to conventional wings. This is due to their peculiar flow features that, however, are still largely unknown. This project aims at investigating the aerodynamics of sails by combining together the complementary specialist expertise of the participants, using both numerical and physical experiments, and using different types of facilities.
FLUID-STRUCTURE INTERACTION OF SAILS
This project aims at obtaining a better understanding of the unsteady Fluid Structure Interaction on yacht sails in order to achieve better modelling, and to provide validated prediction tools to the industry, using the partners’ specialist expertise in numerical modelling and their access to experimental facilities. This projects comprises obtaining pressures, forces and sail shapes from full-scale tests on an instrumented yacht, and then using the measured full-scale data to valid computer modelling of the structural and aerodynamic component parts of the loading system.
HYDRODYNAMICS OF SLENDER HULLS
The interaction of the water with slender hulls is very interesting from both a historical and contemporary perspective. The historical perspective is from the point of view of being able to understand and estimate the sailing ability of ancient Polynesian multihull canoes, which did not have keels, and developed their side force to counteract the sail force, from the action of water on the hull. The modern perspective is important from the viewpoint of the most prestigious yacht race, the America’s Cup, which is now sailed in catamarans with very slender hulls. Improved knowledge of the hydrodynamics of the hulls would assist in their design and the associated keels. This project comprises the design of a series of parametric slender hull forms, evolving from a circular cross section to a deep vee, and subject them to towing tank tests at UNEW. Computational studies of the same shapes will be carried out and results compared.
TACTICS FOR YACHT RACING
The aim of this project is to study tactics in sailing competitions under uncertain weather conditions. A computer program based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) that can help a tactician to take the optimum decision during a sailing yacht race will be developed. Based on the data measured before and during the race, the possible future scenarios that can arise during the race and the associated distribution of probability will be calculated with ANN. For each possible scenario, the best tactic will be computed with the use of a velocity prediction program (VPP).