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The real-time measurement of football aerodynamic loads under spinning conditions

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journal contribution
posted on 27.10.2016 by Martin Passmore, Simon Tuplin, A. Stawski
Aerodynamic effects play an important part in any sport where the ball experiences significant periods of free flight. This paper investigates the aerodynamic forces generated when a football is spinning quickly to generate swerve and more slowly to generate more erratic flight. The work reports on the application of an experimental method that measures the aerodynamic loads on a non-spinning, slowly spinning and fast spinning football, using a phase-locked technique so that orientation-dependent and steady ‘Magnus’ forces can both be determined. The results demonstrate that the orientation-dependent aerodynamic loads, widely seen in non-spinning data in the literature, surprisingly persist up to the highest spin rates reported. When predicting ball flight, it is generally assumed that at low spin rates a quasi-static assumption is acceptable, whereby forces measured on a non-spinning ball, as a function of ball orientation, apply for the spinning case. Above an arbitrary spin rate, the quasi-static assumption is replaced with the assumption of a steady ‘Magnus’ force that is a function of spin rate and ball speed. Using a flight model, the quasi-static assumption is shown to be only applicable for the lowest spin rates tested and the assumption of a steady ‘Magnus’ force only applicable at the highest spin rates. In the intermediate spin rates (20 -40 rpm), the persistence of the orientation effects is shown to have sufficient effect on the flight to be an important additional consideration.

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Published in

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology

Citation

PASSMORE, M.A., TUPLIN, S. and STAWSKI, A., 2017. The real-time measurement of football aerodynamic loads under spinning conditions. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 231(4), pp.262-274.

Publisher

SAGE /© IMechE

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

09/10/2016

Publication date

2017

Notes

PASSMORE, M.A., TUPLIN, S. and STAWSKI, A., 2016. The real-time measurement of football aerodynamic loads under spinning conditions. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, In Press. Copyright © 2016 IMechE. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications

ISSN

1754-3371

eISSN

1754-338X

Language

en

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