Using technology developed, in part, by a University of Nottingham spin-out company, an air-race in the skies above Spain saw two stunt pilots battle it out with a ‘virtual’ plane which they watched on screens in their cockpits.
The ‘virtual’ aircraft was piloted by a computer-gamer who never left the ground, but could likewise see the relative location of the real planes on his own computer screens as the trio swooped around each other during the ‘Sky Challenge’ race. The event could pave the way for massive online competitions, and also demonstrates the power and scope of the very latest in GPS and related systems.
The technology that made it possible was supplied by the Geospatial Research Centre (GRC), a joint venture between The University of Nottingham, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and Canterbury Development Corporation.
They were able to merge an electronically-generated world with the real world using a combination of satellite navigation technology (GPS, or global positioning system) and inertial navigation system technology (INS).
Dr David Park, a University of Nottingham graduate and Chief Executive Officer of GRC, said: “We’ve been involved with the development of Sky Challenge since July 2007. Our role has been to develop a technology solution that can provide the position and orientation of each of the real aircraft, in real time.
“The high G-forces and extreme manoeuvres of the racing aerobatic aircraft make this a very challenging technical and operational problem. GRC is developing a solution for providing the position and orientation of the aircraft using a combination of satellite navigation and INS technology.
“The INS constantly tracks the position and orientation of the aircraft, while GPS signals are used to correct the INS errors — although getting a GPS signal is not always easy as the aircraft twists and turns through the sky.”
The result of the Sky Challenge was a narrow victory for one of the real pilots — but he was only 1.5 seconds ahead of his virtual rival.
GRC has been developing a positioning and orientation solution called POINT-RT — optimised for fast-moving and highly dynamic air-sports — and is looking forward to realising commercial opportunities for it in 2009.
Other potential applications of the POINT-RT hardware and software being developed by the company include tracking people in buildings via shoe-based sensors, geo-referencing video-mapping systems in cars, and real-time thermal mapping from aircraft.
Video of the pilots in action is at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7651500.stm
Tim Utton | alfa
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
New standard helps optical trackers follow moving objects precisely
23.11.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy