USA-Technical Details-Helium used

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Doug Lord, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Timothy
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    Timothy Senior Member

    The only way I can think that helium would be helpful is if it were used to replace the water ballast from what was the windward hull after a tack (Movable ballast in reverse)Possibly after a delay long enough to help break the center hull free of the water. But I can't see it working
     
  2. Timothy
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    Timothy Senior Member

    Sorry . What I meant to say was replace the air in the what was the windward hull with the helium from what was the leeward hull ,as the water ballast is transfered during a tack.
     
  3. Timothy
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    Timothy Senior Member

    I did a few calculations and you would get the same effect moving one crew member from one ama to the other. Hardly worth it.
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    What USA apparently did was put helium in all three hulls primarily for measurement purposes.
     
  5. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    One industrial use of helium is to detect very small leaks. It is used for small enclosures that either have to retain internal pressure or resist external pressure for a long time. If you could build a boat that leakproof it would stay afloat for centuries.

    However, with a boat you get a free leak check every time you put it in the water.
     
  6. peterraymond
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    peterraymond Junior Member

    another non-use of helium

    This would spoil all the fun. We had all these uninformed speculations that would be instantly deflated, no pun untended, if they just used helium to squeak past the waterline measurement. It seems like measurement rules would require that the helium be retained for the races.

    Timothy suggested/inspired still another use that they didn't have on board. I may be just repeating his idea, but if you had a high pressure gas stored in a tank you could use that stored energy to pressurize a ballast tank and force the water out of one tank and into the one on the other side of the boat. Probably the fastest way to move the ballast. Since the boats had engines on board, the gas can be re-pressurized between tacks. If you had to do everything with human power this system would just be too inefficient, but it would/should/could be faster than pumping it.

    Of course, there would be no particular reason to use helium for this compressed gas.
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    USA-Data Mining

    From BMW-Oracle:

    "BMW Oracle Racing's victory in the 33rd America's Cup yacht race in February showcased the crew's extraordinary sailing expertise. But to hear them talk, the real stars weren't actually human. "The story of this race is in the technology," says Ian Burns, design coordinator for BMW Oracle Racing.

    Gathering and Mining Sailing Data
    From the drag-resistant hull to its 23-story wing sail, the BMW Oracle USA trimaran is a technological marvel. But to learn to sail it well, the crew needed to review enormous amounts of reliable data every time they took the boat for a test run. Burns and his team collected performance data from 250 sensors throughout the trimaran at the rate of 10 times per second. An hour of sailing alone generates 90 million data points.

    BMW Oracle Racing turned to Oracle Data Mining in Oracle Database 11g to extract maximum value from the data. Burns and his team reviewed and shared raw data with crew members daily using a Web application built in Oracle Application Express (Oracle APEX).

    "Someone would say, 'Wouldn't it be great if we could look at some new combination of numbers?' We could quickly build an Oracle Application Express application and share the information during the same meeting," says Burns.

    Analyzing Wind and Other Environmental Conditions
    Burns then streamed the data to the Oracle Austin Data Center, where a dedicated team tackled deeper analysis. Because the data was collected in an Oracle Database, the Data Center team could dive straight into the analytics problems without having to do any extract, transform, and load processes or data conversion. And the many advanced data mining algorithms in Oracle Data Mining allowed the analytics team to build vital performance analytics. For example, the technology team could remove masking elements such as environmental conditions to give accurate data on the best mast rotation for certain wind conditions.

    Without the data mining, Burns says the boat wouldn't have run as fast. "The design of the boat was important, but once you've got it designed, the whole race is down to how the guys can use it," he says. "With Oracle database technology we could compare the incremental improvements in our performance from the first day of sailing to the very last day. With data mining we could check data against the things we saw, and we could find things that weren't otherwise easily observable and findable."
     
  8. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Wow, Thanks, Doug. I need them and their computers on my boat!
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    USA-Helium-yeah, thats right: HELIUM used every race!

    From Craig Leweck-Scuttlebutt-e-mail to me today:

    Apparently the info came from an SW colleague who had confirmed there was a balloon in the main hull that was filled for each race day. - Craig

    public confirmation:
    http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=9603

    one source: used to help lift (reduce RM)
    one source: helium in three hulls
    one source: helium in main hull
     
  10. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    A couple hundred pounds saved/ need for less internal framing - great idea. Thanks, Doug and please keep up with the details as they come out!
     
  11. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I don't yet see any confirmation I would accept for this. It seems like a lot of trouble to go to, and a risk too, since the center hull interior becomes unaccessible for inspection.
     
  12. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Does Chicken Little's ambiguous Doppelganger really live in Florida?
     
  13. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Well, Doug, the use of helium in BMWO's hull was proposed on Sailing Anarchy by TonyF18 in November 2009, some time before it 'broke' here. And there's a link back to a patent using helium for sails in 1979. Both of those points once again underlines the fact that it's not a novel idea; merely one that is not practical enough for most sailors to care about.

    Hmmm, let's see; I buy some ultralight bladders, get them inside my cat hulls (which will have to be made with even more care so that there are no sharp edges from 'glass, bolts etc) and drag down a bunch of heavy bottles every now and then, all to (perhaps) gain a few seconds around a race course.

    Expense for the whole fleet has gone up, hassles have gone up, and we either get to re-set the course a fraction longer, or get to do less sailing.

    This does not excite most people. It's a disproportionate cost and it is NOT a novel idea. If we want to go quicker, there are many ways. We can adjust courses to have more reaches. We can no race in light winds. We can add taller rigs and wider wings or platforms, and accept the considerable loss in ease of sailing and practicality. We can hire motor cruisers to go around the course in front of us, crushing waves that would slow us and (when necessary) making wakes for us to surf. We could start each race under tow from a V8 skiboat. We could pump, furiously, when underpowered. We could sell our Lasers, Flying Scots, Formula boards, Hobies, 505s and Melges and all buy C Class cats and fit them with kites.

    In other words, there are already a gozillion ways for the average person to go faster under sail, but almost no one cares to take them up, because sheer speed is not what most people are into. We don't want to add complication.
     
  14. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    But, it's oh so ripe just sitting there all by itself like that, ready to be plucked from the obscurely lrrelevant as an earth shaking proclamation.
     

  15. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ====================
    Golly Gee CT, the first time this was proposed to me was fourty two years ago in the Sand Point Inn in Titusville, Florida-a rather nice drinking establishment on the water.
    There is a rather HUGE difference between some yahoo proposing an idea like this and an America's Cup Team actually using it for a purpose critical to the outcome of an America's Cup match!!!
    This is significant in many ways because it is an advancement in technology-from the way out ramblings of some nearly drunk person fourty two years ago to the actual implementation on the race winning boat in the most important regatta in sailing.
    It's something that anybody seriously interested in design and the evolution of design could not help but be fascinated by with their level of "excitement"
    probably dictated by their knowledge of the difficulty of making something like this payoff as part of a race winning stategy where every detail counts.
    This is a major first in the history of sailing! I say congratulations to the extraordinary Team able to conceive of solving major problems in such innovative ways!
     

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