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Usage and validation of a tracking system to monitor position and velocity during cross-country skiing

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For the first time, we investigate here the possibility of using a real-time locating system (RTLS) to track cross-country skiers during a competition. For validation, three RTLS tags were attached to the antenna of a real-time kinematics global navigation satellite system (RTK GNSS) carried by a skier, skiing the course at three different intensities. In addition, RTLS data were collected from 70 racers during a FIS cross-country skiing sprint race. Spline interpolations were fitted to the RTLS data. In comparison to the RTK GNSS, the spline models for the three RTLS tags overestimated the mean skiing velocity by 5% and 2% at low and medium intensities, respectively, with no difference between the two systems during high intensity. The corresponding overestimations of the peak velocity at skiing intensities were 15%, 10% and 8%, respectively. A decimated sampling frequency for the RTLS data from 50 Hz to 0.5 Hz resulted in lower typical mean errors for the x- (0.53 m vs. 1.40 m), y- (0.31 m vs. 1.36 m) and z-axis (0.10 m vs. 0.20 m). The spline models based on 0.5 Hz and 1 Hz RTLS data overestimated the finishing times by on average of 0.5 s and 0.3 s, respectively. If a sufficient number of locators is utilized and the number of tags simultaneously recorded is limited, this RTLS can track cross-country skiers accurately. In conclusion, a low RTLS sampling frequency in combination with a spline model offer considerable potential for analyzing performance during cross-country sprint skiing.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2016

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