Sensor networks help canoes

Wirelessly networked sensors ensure optimal training success

Sensors in the canoe FOCUS
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International successes of German competitive athletes depend not least on optimal training. With innovative wireless sensor networks from Fraunhofer FOKUS, German canoeing athletes should be able to better shape the effectiveness of their training and training equipment in the future, and be able to record, control and optimize it in real time.

In order to achieve optimal training performance, athletes' high-performance sports data is recorded, collected and evaluated in real time using force and motion sensors. This makes it possible to make objective and very precise statements about training success and the performance of the athletes. So far, the data collected by sensors on the exercise equipment is wired to a laptop. The data cables are usually a major obstacle to free movement and an additional source of accident. Especially for canoeists these cables are a hindrance because there are sensors attached to the paddles.

Together with the Institute for Research and Development of Sportgeräte eV (FES), Fraunhofer FOKUS is developing a solution that enables reliable wireless transmission of sensor data to a PC. "So far there is no standard solution for such requirements, " outlines Matthias Gerlach of FOKUS the challenge. "Particular requirements of this area of ​​application are the temporal synchronicity, the high reliability of data transmission and storage and its ease of use."

In particular, the reliability within the wireless sensor network must be guaranteed: Each sensor for the force and motion measurement sends its data to a sensor node, which must pass the collected data from multiple sensors to a meter, such as a PC without delay and without data loss. The FOKUS solution relies on TinyOS, the current quasi-standard for sensor networks, and on commercially available sensor nodes developed for such purposes at UC Berkeley.

At present, the wireless sensor networks for the training of the German Olympic team of canoeists are being developed. In principle, use is possible with any other sports equipment. In a second stage, the physiological data of athletes with wireless sensor networks are to be recorded. Solutions for so-called body area networks have already been developed at the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS. display

(FOKUS - Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems, 16.08.2004 - NPO)