in Home

Pentathlon GB uses and shares defence technology to test laser pistols

Posted 27 July 2012 · Add Comment

Scientists and engineers from BAE Systems have been applying defence and security technology to help the British Modern Pentathlon team to evaluate their high-tech laser pistols, which were introduced at the beginning of the 2011 season, replacing traditional air pistols.

Subsequent changes in training programmes and the specifications of the laser pistols have presented athletes and coaches throughout the sport with technical challenges. A key difference compared with air pistols is that lasers leave no physical mark on the target: scoring is entirely electronic. In addition, with complex electronic components any malfunctioning – actual or potential - is more difficult to spot.
 
As part of its Technology Partnership with UK Sport, scientists from BAE Systems adapted laser systems originally used to protect aircraft from hostile attack in a series of bespoke laboratory tests and examined how the laser pistols performed, including tests on power output, beam profile and laser pulse duration.
 
The BAE Systems team created a mobile laser pistol evaluation device called ‘ULTeMo’, which athletes can take to competitions, to help with last minute checks and to give athletes 100% confidence in the new technology. To use this system athletes simply align the pistol in the device and fire a single shot. The ULTeMo device immediately gives an indication how well the laser is performing, measuring the strength of the laser pulse.
 
BAE Systems’ test results showed that the laser pistols used by the British pentathletes were performing correctly and to specification, which has alleviated technical concerns among Pentathlon GB’s athletes and their coaches. Testing also assessed whether environmental conditions such as moisture, temperature and sunlight affect the reliability of the lasers.
 
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB’s performance director, has publicly thanked UK Sport for its engagement with and funding of BAE Systems’ assistance with the laser technology: “This test process removes one of the enduring concerns for athletes - that some unseen technical problem may affect their shooting. It means that Britain’s pentathletes are able to enter competitions with full confidence in their equipment.”
 
Bartu has decided to make the evaluation device available to all pentathletes competing in major competitions, no matter which country they are representing: "We would not be interested in winning a medal just because someone else’s laser equipment did not work properly on the day: that would be a step too far in my view."
 
Pentathlon GB will be offering the use of the evaluation device to any competing athletes at major international competitions moving forwards.
 
He added: “BAE Systems deserves full recognition for a very good job - from us and from the sport in general.”
 
Kelvin Davies, BAE Systems project leader of the UK Sport Technology Partnership, said: “With experts in laser technology and optics and a suite of laboratory facilities, we have been able to help to verify the correct operation of the laser equipment.
 
“This kind of technology has never been available to the sport before. It allows the pentathletes to test their equipment in the minutes leading up to a competition, helping to eliminate any last minute concerns which could affect their performance - and potentially make the difference between winning and losing.
 
"The challenge in building this system lies in the fact that the laser pulse is very short. High speed electronics are needed to perform the analysis and provide the athlete with the result. The ULTeMo system offers a high degree of usability, portability and provides instantaneous results.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Atkins teams with Aeralis on training jet aircraft

Atkins is collaborating with aircraft designer and manufacturer Aeralis to develop a new family of training jet aircraft using a patent-pending modular design.

Menzies Aviation secures renewals with Norwegian Air at four US airports

Menzies Aviation today announced a two year renewal with Norwegian Air, which sees Menzies extend its long standing relationship dating back to 2014 at four major US airports.

BAE Systems releases XTS Guard 7

BAE Systems has launched its next-generation XTS Guard 7, which provides US intelligence organisations with secure access to geospatial imagery and data through multidirectional transfer of different data types across classified

Innovate UK invests in commercialising quantum technologies

Innovate UK as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) has up to £12 million to invest in innovative projects exploiting new quantum technologies and is seeking private investment partners to join it.

Serco wins US NIWC Pacific support contract

Serco Inc. announced today that the US Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific has awarded Serco one of four contracts on a Special Projects and Electronic Systems Engineering Support indefinite-delivery, indefinite

NR Investments acquires Moldova’s Chisinau International Airport

NR Investments Ltd, a Guernsey, Channel Islands property investment vehicle formed in 2007, has agreed to acquire 95% of the concession company of Chisinau International Airport, the only international airport in Moldova.

ODU 0201311219
See us at
SMI ActiveP BT1206121119VIDSE BT1605060320TMP BT0708090919SMI FAV BT1006141119FIL20BT010819260720DSEI JP BT1605201119ADSS1000DBT1706171019SMI GMS BT1906071119