GPS Assisting In Hurricane Observation

GPS Assisting In Hurricane Observation

GPS Tracking Systems Helping Hurricane Research

hurricaneThe constellation of GPS satellites orbiting miles above the Earth make our lives so much easier even though none of us ever physically see the technological marvels. GPS tracking and navigational technology is the driving force behind the innovative routing and direction programs such as Google Earth, numerous fitness applications and about a million other things. GPS technology is critical in so many components of our daily lives that many of us take for granted the detailed data provided through low level radio frequencies, but hurricane researchers are certainly not one of those groups of people.

On the eastern seaboard and in states surrounding the Gulf of Mexico the month of August is identified as the start of hurricane season. This means researchers are using every available tool to learn more about the conditions that cause tropical storms and of course once those storms evolve into hurricanes how powerful they are. How real time GPS tracking and navigational technology is providing assistance to hurricane researchers is by giving the investigators data such as the direction and strength of wind speeds, data calculated by GPS signals bouncing around in the tropical storms.

According to a hurricane researcher working at the NASA Langley Research Center, the new technique that uses GPS technology to gather data regarding hurricane activity is both extremely precise and cost-effective. This is because the previous method of collecting data on hurricanes involved using dropsondes into a active tropical storm or hurricane via what is known as a Hurricane Hunter aircraft. Basically, the old technique used an aircraft that released tubes filled with different meteorological devices and instruments used to calculate things such as pressure, air and water temperature and humidity in the air. Although this technique had been effective at gathering data related to hurricane strength and the conditions involved in the development of the storm, the cost of such projects limited the amount of dropsondes available and therefore left holes in the data. The more modern method of using GPS technology will not only be more affordable but fill those once empty holes with more data!

The new GPS tracking and navigational tools used to gather information about storm activity is just the first step in helping hurricane researchers better understand the twisted and beautiful mind of Mother Nature. This is because by 2016 the brains at NASA intend on launching a smaller set of satellites into space that will be used specifically to measure what are known as reflected GPS signals to provide even more accurate data about storm activity from outer space. This new GPS satellite system is known as the Cyclone Global Satellite System.

With more and more technological tools being called upon to help researchers it is only a matter of time before humanity will have a more complete understanding of the conditions that cause, grow and change hurricane activity. The data from GPS will place a significant part in this understanding which will most certainly help in providing the most detailed and concrete weather forecasts.

Source: ABC News Charlestown


Camera Devices To Monitor NBA Players

Camera Devices To Monitor NBA Players

Camera Tracking Systems Could Change NBA Stats

basketballNBA fans everywhere are quite well aware of the greatness associated with a player such as Kobe Bryant and and his tendency, or lack thereof, to pass the rock. However, the statistics showed early in the season last year that the Lakers would actually win more games when Kobe would pass more and score less. Although on paper it would seem that the best option for the team would be having a distributor such as Steve Nash rack up the assists, the cold hard fact is that when Kobe racks up more assists the Lakers would rack up more wins.

Information is critical in helping sports teams understand where their strengths and weaknesses reside, something that can be extremely helpful in evaluating player performance. With the current use of GPS tracking systems and video surveillance equipment already being implemented by teams all across the league, it is no surprise to hear that the NBA plans on moving forward with a new video camera tracking solutions developed by SportVu to offer even more critical data. Data that could change the way basketball statisticians evaluate talent on the court.

According to an announcement released by the NBA this past week, all 30 of the NBA arenas will be equipped with state-of-the-art tracking cameras that will precisely determine the movements of all players, referees and ball movements on the court, recording the data at an incredible rate of a 30th per second! The camera systems will determine the distance covered by players, speed, ball movements, ball possession, steps made, dribble activity, passing, shooting, rebounding and other data that will be broken down and categorized for review. The reason this is so fascinating is because the camera tracking systems could literally be the first step in the ways that management evaluate player performance. No longer will the most basic of stats such as points, rebounds and assists be looked at, but rather detailed forms of that data such as open rebounds, rebounds gathered during a free throw, uncontested rebounds, long range rebounds etc.

With the data from the camera systems head coaches and assistant head coaches can determine if a player actively grabbed a rebound from a offensive player or if the ball fell right into their hands by pure chance (although positioning yourself in the right area to catch a rebound would not necessarily be considered chance but rather strategy). The tracking data will also offer up information such as if a player is actively passing the ball yet not actually recording an assist.

The NBA is gathering all of this tracking data from the SportVu camera systems and will be propagating the information onto their stats page. The tracking data will also be available soon to those using the NBA mobile app which is available for download to smart phone users.