|Create a free SCUK account and get access to the forums and our regular newsletter.||May 20, 2013|
The International Ski Federation (FIS) and motor racing manufacturer Dainese have presented the initial results of the D-air® Ski project, the aim of which is to investigate the potential application of air bag technology to top-level Alpine Skiing. The current project seeks to improve the protection of athletes by applying D-air® technologies (the air bag designed around the human body).
The project is currently in the data collection phase which involves 16 World Cup athletes, including Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), and incorporates 12 inertial platforms (sets of sensors fully integrated into the back guard).
“Research is well under way since last season, seeking to define the exact point at which the racer is no longer in control and a fall becomes inevitable. Since this is such a complex matter, whilst much data has already been gathered, further information is still needed.” said Günther Hujara, FIS Chief Race Director for the men’s Alpine Skiing.
The ergonomic tests with participating athletes began with the definition of precise instructions concerning the shape of the bag and the positioning of the gas generators. More than 70 descents have been monitored so far, the details of which have already been used to develop the electronic and pneumatic sections simultaneously and in close involvement with the athletes.
The 2012 program envisages the continuation of data collection to define the activation algorithm, as well as further tests with the athletes for the fine-tuning of the pneumatic part, with the aim of having a prototype for use on the slopes by the end of the year. 2013 will be dedicated to the fine-tuning of the final prototype for Sochi 2014.
The D-air Ski covers shoulders, collarbone, back (the chest will be considered in the next development step) and limits the movement of the neck during a fall. The special bag opens in about 50 milliseconds, reaches maximum protection in less than 100 milliseconds and reduces the force transmitted to the shoulders and back by up to 85%.