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Athletes dedicate their lives to training, to continually improving and fine-tuning their performance. But how are their efforts and performances measured?
Athletes train to be the first, the fastest, jump the highest and throw the farthest. All their energy goes into achieving that perfect performance. Once that golden moment has arrived, the athlete feels it immediately. Everything fits to that one moment - the fluent throw, ultimate control or perfect pace.
Then the mathematical calculations take over, carried out by the operator of that yellow instrument on the side of the track. That's the surveyor, who has the final call over a personal, national or, even world, record.
The Czech Athletic Association brought in surveying company, Geodis Brno, which combined Topcon's total stations surveying instruments, with Geotel's dedicated athletic-measuring software. This combination was used during an international indoor athletics meeting in Prague in January 2012.
Geotel's athletics software runs directly on the GPT-7500 total stations Windows CE operating system. It's been designed to measure performances and records in a number of athletic disciplines, including discus, javelin, shot-put, long jump, triple jump and hammer throw.
Using total station technology means that the exact position of the javelin, hammer or athlete's point of impact can be recorded and an accurate distance computed virtually instantly. This offers an incredibly fast results service. It also meets the International Athletic Federation's (IAAF) requirements for dimension checking to centimetric measurement levels, perfectly.
As well as being visible to the surveyor on the instruments LCD screen, the resulting data and information is also sent from the software to the large format display screens on the track side to inform both the athlete and the audience – hopefully to capture, forever, the magic moment of that one perfect attempt.
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