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BAE Systems
 
Sport Innovation

 
Our laser-timing system in action at Manchester Velodrome

Helping Britain's athletes go for gold

From taekwondo to sailing, we are helping to bring some of Great Britain’s top athletes closer to achieving their medal winning dreams through a £1.5 million Technology Partnership with UK Sport, the UK’s high performance sports agency.

About the Technology Partnership

Taekwondo vests undergoing stress testing
Taekwondo vests undergoing stress testing

The Technology partnership is giving some of Britain’s top athletes and their coaches access to our expertise and technology innovations normally reserved for the defence and security sector.

Our expertise are channelled directly into the areas of sports development where it is needed the most, by pulling on the expertise of our 18,000 UK-based engineers to help solve structural and mechanical engineering, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, mathematical modeling, materials science and simulation challenges.

Under the Technology Partnership with UK Sport, we have helped around 20 elite sports teams and 140 individual athletes and their coaches, including:

  • Canoeing (slalom and sprint)
  • Badminton
  • Wheelchair basketball
  • Skeleton bobsled
  • Equestrian three day eventing
  • Sailing
  • Wheelchair racing
  • Short track speed skating
  • Swimming
  • Athletics
  • Modern pentathlon

Partnership Highlights

Amy Williams celebrates winning gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics
Amy Williams celebrates winning gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics

The Technology Partnership’s most high profile success has been the creation of Arthur, the bob skeleton that propelled Amy Williams to Britain’s first individual gold medal win at the 2010 Winter Olympics in three decades. We worked in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam and Southampton Universities to crack the problem of customizing the bob skeleton for Amy and other skeleton athletes.

We have also used predictive modeling software originally designed for future Unmanned Air Vehicles to help the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to improve the accuracy of weather pattern forecasting in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour, the location for Olympic sailing competitions.


Cycling Laser Timing System

Cycling
Installing a sophisticated performance monitoring system at the Manchester Velodrome has given British cyclists a further edge in training

At the Manchester Velodrome, a sophisticated laser-timing system has been installed to monitor the performance of cyclists in training. The technology, derived from a battlefield identification system helps to monitor the performance of up to 30 cyclists training simultaneously, providing each athlete with individual split times with millisecond accuracy by reading a personalised tag attached to each bike.

Read more about our Cycling Laser Timing System


Testing Pentathlon GB's laser pistols

ULTeMo Laser Pistol
ULTeMo Laser Pistol

Our scientists and engineers 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.

The 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.

Read more about ULTeMo


Taekwondo performance boost

Taekwondo vests undergoing stress testing
Taekwondo vests undergoing stress testing

We have been applying some of the same techniques and principles used to develop fighter jets and military tanks to help give the GB Taekwondo team a marginal gain in competition.

A new system introduced into Taekwondo just a few years ago means fighters wear special electronic socks that deliver a coded signal when they strike sensors on the opponent’s vest. We have been testing the electronic scoring vest using sophisticated equipment, usually used to test composite materials’ resistance to impact. This has allowed the GB Taekwondo team to adjust their training style to maximise methods needed to score on the vest.

Read more about our work with GB Taekwondo


Future Secret Projects

Engineer working on a project for our UK Sport Partnership
Engineer working on a project for our UK Sport Partnership

With major medal competitions in sight, our scientists and engineers have been busy working on a number of secret projects with the Equestrian and Fencing teams and are set to launch a new prototype of the elite racing wheelchair this spring. The new wheelchair will be used in track and long distance events to shave precious tenths of seconds off podium winning times with a stronger, lighter and more aerodynamic design.

Kelvin Davies, BAE Systems Project Manager for the Technology Partnership, said: “Our tie up with UK Sport is a very exciting and innovative project, which allows us to share some of our defence and security technology and expertise to benefit our sporting heroes and demonstrates just how important engineering is in every aspect of day-today life.”


More information

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Multimedia

  • Left to right: Joanna and Pav
  • The EAP at its new home at the RAF Museum in Cosford, Shropshire.
  • More than 70 students and staff attended Downham Rotary Club’s third annual Technology Day
  • Employee fundraising to make a real difference
  • Bike Drive
  • Bike Drive
  • Bike Drive
  • Winners of the Preston Guild competition in front of Typhoon
  • All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships visits Warton
  • MAI Apprentices First Day at College
  • Technician Apprentices
  • Beamont in Lightning cockpit
  • RIAT round up
  • Our laser-timing system in action at Manchester Velodrome
  • Engineer working on a project for our UK Sport Partnership
  • Advanced Technology Centre - Skeleton Bob
  • ULTeMo Laser Pistol
  • ULTeMo Laser Pistol
  • HRH, Princess Anne Opens Washington, UK Facility
  • The Chairman collects the NED award from judge Patrick Dunne, Communications Directorof 3i Group Plc
  • F-16 Image Web
  • BAE Systems’ investment in three major munitions factories in partnership with the MOD will sustain a key manufacturing capability within the UK
  • Speed skating
  • Cycling
  • Dauntless sea trials
  • Bradley vehicles in service
  • BAE Systems Employees
  • Maritime Apprentice Brandon Bowman
  • Sally Topping receives the award for Best Business Apprentice
  • F-35 Empennage line at our Samlesbury site
  • Simon Booth who took part in the taster weeks in 2009 supported the students on their tour of our Typhoon final assembly hangar at Warton site.
  • Samlesbury siite aerial view
  • Sir Glenn Torpy and Jane Russell receiving the award from Paul Hughesdon
  • Apprentices restore 1940s carousel to former glory
  • Bedflex in action
  • How to use Bedflex
  • Bedflex
  • Michael Singleton teaches Taekwondo
  • Michael Singleton teaches Taekwondo
  • Michael Singleton teaches Taekwondo
  • Michael Singleton teaches Taekwondo
  • Michael Singleton teaches Taekwondo
  • Michael Singleton teaches Taekwondo
  • Employer Over Training Scheme
  • Partnering with AFC Fylde