Being able to trace the course of a thrilling sailing regatta ashore in the best possible way- this is exactly what spectators at major sailing-events want.
The Nuremberg-based company Weatherdock AG has developed a system which meets exactly these requirements. This means that small portable transmitters are mounted on ships. These transmitters determine the current position by way of an integrated GPS module and transmit this position via VHF-radio to a receiver which is installed on shore. The transmission intervals of the position report are extremely short, every six seconds, whereas the interval may be shortened to up to two seconds, if necessary. The transmitted data also includes the current speed and course over ground as this data can be calculated from the GPS data.
The data transmission is effected by means of a specific frequency, provided by Weatherdock, with the result that the participating ships can be summarized as a “closed user group”. By using this method we can ensure that the normal radio communications in this area are not affected and that no one else can see or manipulate this data information.
At the onshore base station, the incoming data is converted into data logs and forwarded to a software program, which edits this data and presents it in a visually appealing way.
This is done with a software program, which was developed by the German Company WinGPS. The final presentation of the regatta on a large monitor or on a videowall is visually appealing. The participating ships as well as static course markings and turning points are displayed differently from each other. This ensures in combination with the extremely short transmission intervals, enabled by the software, an optimal display – however, currently only in 2D presentation.
By means of the receiver of the company Weatherdock, all relevant data, such as wind velocity or current conditions at specific points, can also be included in the software and thus in the presentation for the spectators, provided that this data is available and/or transmitted.
easyPOSALERT in use for world‘s largest racing series for amateurs
The system named easyPOSALERT developed by Weatherdock is in use as the official tracking system for all ships at all events of this season’s BMW Sailing Cup 2012. The BMW Sailing Cup is the world’s largest regatta series for amateurs. During altogether 17 regatta weekends, finalists are determined throughout Germany, who will then compete against each other at the grand German final in Hamburg on 5th-7th October 2012.
The system’s major advantage for the BMW Sailing Cup resides in the fact that the Weatherdock easyPOSALERT transmits over VHF frequencies and is, as a result, completely independent of mobile networks which may be poor and overburdened.
RED BULL Storm Chase 2012 with easyPOSALERT
The tracking system easyPOSALERT by Weatherdock is in use at the RED BULL Storm Chase 2012. However, it is used here for the safety of the participating windsurfers. At the RED BULL Storm Chase it is all about withstanding forces of nature such as 10 wind forces (approx. 100 km/h) or more and about winning a windsurfing competition. Each participant and the entire security staff and cameramen in the water receive such a small transmitter. In this way, all positions can be tracked in realtime following activation of the devices. When a participant falls off his board and is adrift by heavy sea he can be located and rescued very quickly. And again, the fact that VHF frequencies are used is the crucial point. The RED BULL Storm Chase takes place, for example, off Tasmania, off
Iceland or at the southern tip of Japan and at that in uninhabited areas in these regions. One cannot assume that network coverage is provided there, which can withstand these requirements.
easyPOSALERT also designed for other sectors
The tracking system easyPOSALERT is also applicable for commercial purposes.
Tracking of ferry or pilot boats or of private tender fleets, without affecting the local and usual radio communications, is imaginable. Even in the charter business its use is conceivable.
More Information: Weatherdock AG, Nürnberg, www.weatherdock.de