Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tiny Radio Transmitters On Skis Help Competitive Skiers Analyze Every Move

Date:
March 10, 2009
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Whether slalom or alpine skiing, competitive skiing is all about thousandths of a second. Hence, professional athletes must constantly refine their technique. Small radio transmitters will make it possible to analyze pros’ habits more closely.

Small radio transmitters on skis provide information such as whether the skis were parallel during a run.
Credit: Copyright Dirk Mahler / Fraunhofer IFF

A skier gives her all, closely races past the gates in the giant slalom to the final stretch. Yet, upon reaching the bottom, the disappointment is great: Too slow once again. How come? Until now, coaches and athletes have analyzed videos to identify weaknesses in technique.

Related Articles


“An analysis was based more on instinct than concrete measured values,” explains Dr. Klaus Richter, Expert Group Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg.

In the future, transponders – radio transmitters and receivers – will support coaches in their work. They can be attached to an athlete’s skis and transmit radio waves in every direction through small antennas one thousand times per second. The antennas are located to the front and the back of the skis. Receiving stations placed alongside a slope in regular intervals pick up the signals and analyze the time a signal needs to travel from the antenna to a station, thus accurately determining an antenna’s position within three centimeters.

The underlying technology is radio frequency identification or RFID. A computer calculates the position of the skis every millisecond and displays their exact path on a monitor. “A coach recognizes whether both skis were parallel,” explains Richter, “whether the skier has drifted from her path in a curve and whether she is able to carve properly.” Carving involves taking the turns entirely on the edge of one’s skis.

The Austrian firm Abatec developed the system. Together with colleagues from the university in Magdeburg, the researchers at the Fraunhofer IFF are testing its systematic implementation in sports: What adhesive bonds the antennas to the skis so they do not loosen during a downhill run but can be detached when no longer needed? How can the radio signals be evaluated so a coach is able to draw conclusions about technique?

Another challenge: Many skis contain metal layers of varying thicknesses, which shift a transmitter’s frequency. Depending on the skis’ design, the antennas transmit on another frequency and the base station no longer detects the signal.

The solution: An additional metal plate under the antennas alters the signal so intensely and predictably that the slight differences between different skis are of no consequence: The antennas always transmit with the same controlled frequency. The technology performed well in initial tests in Bottrop ski hall and the system is now ready for use.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Tiny Radio Transmitters On Skis Help Competitive Skiers Analyze Every Move." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309122203.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2009, March 10). Tiny Radio Transmitters On Skis Help Competitive Skiers Analyze Every Move. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309122203.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Tiny Radio Transmitters On Skis Help Competitive Skiers Analyze Every Move." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309122203.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins