Experimental Investigation of Asymmetric Spinnaker Aerodynamics Using Pressure and Sail Shape Measurements

Abstract : An innovative method combining simultaneous on-water pressure and sail shape measurements for determining aerodynamic forces produced by sails is described and used on Stewart 34 and J80 Class yachts flying asymmetric spinnakers. Data were recorded in light and medium winds in order to check the reliability, accuracy and repeatability of the system. Results showed similar trends to the published literature. The accuracy of the system was investigated by wind tunnel tests, with determination of the entire sail shape from the stripe images recorded by the camera-based (VSPARS) system, and was found to be relatively good. Generally the pressure distributions show a leading edge suction peak, occurring at 5 to 10% of the chord length, followed by a pressure recovery and then a suction increase due to the sail curvature, with finally a reduction in suction near the trailing edge. The drive force coefficient measured on the Stewart 34 is lower than for the J80 because of a non-optimal sail shape due to light winds. On a reaching course, the standard deviation of the pressure signals was largest near the luff, reducing in the stream-wise direction, while it was high on the entire sail section when sailing on a running course.
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D. Motta, R.G.J Flay, P.J Richards, D.J Le Pelley, Julien Deparday, et al.. Experimental Investigation of Asymmetric Spinnaker Aerodynamics Using Pressure and Sail Shape Measurements. Ocean Engineering, Elsevier, 2014, a paraitre. ⟨10.1016/j.oceaneng.2014.07.023⟩. ⟨hal-01071557⟩

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