In the upcoming Paralympics 2014 in Sochi we could be seeing a very kind of ski rolling down the slopes as researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM have developed a ski vehicle for disabled biathletes. The project is codenamed Snow Storm and biathlete Martin Fleig is the first one to have one of these skis. The ski is made at Fraunhofer IWM using simulated software that provides data for CAD design of the skis and then by using laser sintering technology the Ski Vehicle took shape. The ski is going to have a seat and fixed mounted ski skating system for uninterrupted skiing on the slopes at Paralympics 2014.
The challenge in making such a ski vehicle for the disabled was to make it light-weight and stable for any kind of snowy slopes and surface. And not to forget the comfort level of the athlete. This ski vehicle has been designed in such a way that it is ideal for different riders and in this case Martin is going to use it for the Biathlon that is a cross-country skiing adventure.
The ski uses high-performance polymer polyamide 12 in its prototype manufacture and is beefed up with lots of sensors to measure loads, power transmission during push-off and riders driving style.
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