CSIRO and Catapult Sports’ program Tracking Elite Athletes, which uses revolutionary ClearSky Technology, has received the President’s Award from Engineers Australia, Sydney Division.
Coaches of elite athletes have been hindered in the monitoring of vital metrics of their rising stars, as reliance on GPS systems to gather information on their power and speed were unreliable in poor signal areas such as indoor stadiums or arenas. However, the new technology fulfils the needs of coaches and broadcast media for accurate athlete analytics.
The developers of the technology were recognised at the 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards in Sydney last week.
Dr Mark Hadley, Research Team Leader, CSIRO, said the technology overcomes limitations of GPS systems by combining the indoor tracking components of CSIRO’s Wireless Ad-hoc System for Positioning (WASP) technology with Catapult Sport’s advanced inertial sensors and algorithms, in a sleek exterior designed for use in professional sport. The current solution is being used to evaluate performances of athletes in the Australian Football League (AFL).
“The technology that this partnership has developed is 10 times more accurate than GPS systems, and in sports where the results are closer and more technical, these results are much more important,” said Dr Hadley.
Players’ performances can be quantified and thus improved by making team training more specific based on game demands, combining the work of the coaching staff with that of the fitness staff, and by comparing the performance levels of players with other players, sessions or predetermined physical goals.
“The win is a fantastic honour and part of the excitement behind winning is having the research and the project recognised.
“Seeing the fruits of your research is fantastic, for 95% of research projects never go anywhere, so it is great to be a part of a successful one. The win provides inspiration to keep going and do better; it is great to get that recognition amongst our peers,” added Dr Hadley.
The project was also awarded an Excellence Award in the category of Software and Embedded Systems.