The Paralympics offers athletes with physical impairments the opportunity to compete in sport; one of the most competitive Paralympic sports is cycling. Technological development in para-cycling technology has been vital in increasing the number of disabled people participating in the sport. The application of cutting edge technologies to cycling provides a great opportunity to ensure athletes compete at the highest level with the best equipment. In this context the application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling tools in the field of Paralympic cycling is an exciting development; particularly given the success Irish Athletes have had at world and Olympic level. World champions include Colin Lynch, Eoghan Clifford, Mark Rohan on his hand-cycle and Catherine Walsh on her tandem with pilot Fran Meehan. The application CFD to quantitatively and qualitatively analyse para-cycling aerodynamics provides the knowledge required for the athletes, coaches and manufacturers as to where performance gains may be attained. CFD analysis is being performed in collaboration with Sport Institute Ireland, Cycling Ireland and Paralympics Ireland. This project is also supported via a dual-degree program with TU Eindhoven, and acknowledges the academic partnership with ANSYS Inc. Key outputs will include:
  • Knowledge of the fundamental aerodynamic characteristics of tandem cycling, and of H1-H4 category hand-cycling.
  • Athlete & equipment aerodynamic optimisations
  • Experimental validation data to benchmark CFD processes