Late night infomertial? Not likely. PCWorld has posted a series of very flashy photos courtesy of the simulations used in conjunction with the US Olympic bobsled team. According to the photo stream sidebars, the US team has jumped on the HPC bandwagon to help them gain the vital fractions of a second in their chase for the gold.
This image [see the link below] shows some of the magic at work. Supercomputers and Exa PowerFlow software combine to improve the aerodynamic performance (shown by the green streamlines) of the sled by simulating the airflow over the vehicle as designers make each change. How effective has this approach been? Unbelievably so: The four-man Night Train team used the technology to design, hone, and build its amazingly fast bobsled, which won the 2009 World Championship last February in Lake Placid, New York–the first such title for a U.S. team in 50 years. Team Night Train hopes to transform that success into a gold medal in these Olympics when the bobsled events begin February 20.
If fluid dynamics is one of your big interests, check out the full photostream here.