USA Luge has received a boost to its sled technology project ©USA Luge

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided funding to USA Luge as part of a project to improve its sled technology.

USA Luge said it has turned to Dow Chemical in collaboration with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in recent years to develop its sleds.

RCR assigned Colby Mazzuca to work with Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic silver medallist Chris Mazdzer on a special aerodynamics project.

Mazzuca, who also commands AeroWorks LLC, began running aerodynamic studies digitally.

USA Luge says the project has now been bolstered by funding from the NSF, after a request from Gordy Sheer, USA Luge director of marketing and sponsorships and an Olympic silver medallist.

The NSF will provide a $221,517 (£165,000/€182,000) grant for the project, which will be given to the Clarkson University.

The university’s mechanical and aeronautical engineering department will work in partnership with AeroWorks with the goal of bringing United States athletes to the podium in national and international events.

“The programme has already delivered results for us and the NSF’s generosity will only expand upon those results,” said Sheer.

“We’ve been able to take the designs provided to us by AeroWorks and produce sleds that are on the ice right now.

“Thanks to our friends at Stratasys, we are able to take those designs and turn them into sleds through their 3D mold printing process.

“Our sled design and manufacturing process continues to evolve at a rapid pace and having our allies at Clarkson in our backyard is an added bonus.”

Chris Mazdzer has been supporting the special aerodynamics project ©Getty Images
Chris Mazdzer has been supporting the special aerodynamics project ©Getty Images

Clarkson University has said the flow condition in luge sleds will be an ideal “investigation of the effectiveness of adjoint based optimisation to perform aerodynamic optimisation”.

The university says the same principles can be applied to other vehicles, which enables the study to be applied to optimise the design of vehicles, ships and aircraft.

AeroWorks chief executive Mazzuca welcomed the additional support for the project, which he believes will help USA Luge athletes enjoy success this season.

“AeroWorks is proud to grow its partnership with USA Luge in our ongoing pursuit of speed,” Mazzuca said.

“By using the latest technology in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) such as adjoint solutions and mesh morphing, we are able to optimise the sled more efficiently and with better precision.

“We are confident our efforts will put USA Luge on the top steps of the podium this season."