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 Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display
19.02.2018 | University of Tokyo

nachricht Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering
19.02.2018 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>