British military contractor BAE Systems has been in partnership with UK Sport for the better part of eight years and the collaboration between the two sides has yielded beneficial results, specifically for the country’s national cycling team.
You could say that having the involvement of a company known for its military technology gives the British cycling team an unfair advantage. But there are no rules against using technology to gain a competitive head-start leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympic games.
That’s what the cycling team’s BMX squad hopes to accomplish as it begins its training and preparations ahead of next year’s Olympics. The video here will show you the lengths by which the team goes through to make full use of BAE System impressive military tech tools, including a proprietary optical sensor technology that was originally developed for the military’s “sense and avoidance” systems.
This tech apparently involves infrared cameras positioned strategically in various areas of the training grounds. These cameras lock into sensors that interact with miniature LEDs affixed to the BMX bikes. According to BAE Systems, these sensors track the trajectory of the riders “while on the ground and, critically, in the air.”
The end-game of this partnership would be to shave off precious seconds off of the team’s performance. Even a difference of tenths or hundredths of a second could spell the difference between a gold medal and any other finish.
Seems like a good way to spend military money, isn’t it? I don’t really know how much of these technological aids from BAE Systems will help Britain’s BMX team, but I’ll be sure to keep this video in mind when watching next year’s Olympic games. If the team wins the gold, then we can probably point to this collaboration as a big reason of that happening.
Source: BAE Systems