I've spent a few afternoons wondering what I will write about for my final Mechanical Engineering report. This report needs to be fairly lengthy and must utilize my Mechanical Engineering skills. I think I have come up with a decent topic and a plan to implement it. I'm considering creating a very small and inexpensive low speed wind tunnel to test the aerodynamic effectiveness of cycling helmets. The wind tunnel could be constructed out of cardboard and lexan (for a viewing area) and be run from standard room fans. I will need to verify the wind speed with a wind speed indicator. The tricky part will be constructing a frame to hold a sytrofoam head and helmet while measuring the force (in grams) that is exerted by the wind speed. Between Tammy and myself we have 3 "aero" helmets (2 are different sizes), 2 different road helmets and a motorcycle helmet (just for fun I'll throw this in the tests). I may need to borrow other "aero" helmets to complete my testing to be able to differentiate what style of helmet works over other styles. Firstly I have to have my idea approved by the co-op office, which shouldn't be a problem. The only problem I can for-see is having enough time on the weekends to start and finish this with enough time left over to complete a decent report.
We have Ironman Austria coming up quickly and we are now entering our final hard 2 week build for the race. So I can't see myself really starting this project until after mid-July. I should be able to create the designs and build it fairly quickly afterwards, but ideally I would like to have an idea as to which helmet tests faster prior to my race in Austria. I guess I will have to flip a coin between the Rudy Syton Open and the Giro Advantage 2.
And yeah I still haven't done anything with my hard drive yet. It'll have to wait until later this summer.
Now it's time to watch the Triathlon Worlds (www.triathlon.org) in Vancouver.