Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Signal opportunities on the slopes -- with RFID

10.03.2009
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. "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.

Klaus Richter | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iff.fraunhofer.de

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht New 3-D display takes the eye fatigue out of virtual reality
22.06.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation

23.06.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>