Chris Pickering investigates a real-time 3D flow visualisation technology that is already helping cut complexity, time and cost in a number of diverse sectors August 2022 Issue 261


ProCap meets Olympic champion Dominique Gisin in the wind tunnel

Many thanks to 2014 Swiss Olympia champion Dominique Gisin for her time and feedback! Long hair inside or outside the helmet is just one question in sports aerodynamics that can finally be answered with ProCap. There is more to come. Find out in the video below …

ProCap Meets Racing Athletes

Real-time measurements for sports aerodynamics

After a busy week in the ETH labs…  see how international bike and ski racing athletes improve their performance with ProCap: a 3d flow visualization testing and analytics method developed together with ETH.

Vortex rollup after race bike front wheel

Flow behind helmet

ProCap for performance cycling

ProCap: Live demonstration for performance cycling

The Flander’s Bike Valley wind tunnel at the heart of the ‘classics’ in bicycle racing was the ideal location to introduce a new measurement method to a very aero-oriented sport. And so, on November 25th, leading exponents from the sport found their way to the “silicon valley” of cycling to experience hands-on how much real-time 3D flow visualization can add to wind tunnel testing. We would like to thank everybody present that day and especially the people from Bike Valley for the avid discussions, their feedback and for sharing our excitement of having more than a drag coefficient to work with!

Caution: This is NOT CFD, but full size measurement data!

The test setup was a full-sized road racing bike including rider-dummy complete with helmet and cycling wear. We did not focus on a specific area during the tests but tried to show what the people present were interested most in. This approach worked beautifully as in front of the big visualization monitor the discussion and interpretation of the flow started immediately with the first data points coming in. During the measurement, the focus could be shifted to different areas by guiding the operator holding the probe or by zooming in on a specific detail. A very efficient optimization and solution-finding process was set in motion right with the start of a measurement!

This is exactly what ProCap is meant to achieve and it was truly rewarding to see it happen immediately. The demonstration showed us that with this intuitive and flexible approach one can get the most out of this type of wind tunnel testing. We are looking forward to see the results of improved aerodynamic testing hitting the cycling track!