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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Infrared Camera Technology Enters the Sporting Arena

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Cedip Infrared Systems (Beauborg, France)
BBG Sports (Melbourne, Australia)
Nine Network (Willoughby, Australia)

The Challenge

Nothing is more aggravating, at least to the losing team and its fans, than having a poor call by an umpire turn a victory into a defeat. However, to reverse or decide a call, the technology used has to be fast and accurate. One such umpiring challenge is faced in cricket dismissal, where a precise judgment of ball impact is critical.

The Solution

Cedip Infrared Systems, specialists in thermal IR camera technology, working with BBG Sports developed a state-of-the-art system called 'Hot Spot' that stands to end all speculation surrounding a cricket dismissal. BBG Sports is a small innovative company that specializes in professional IT solutions for the Sports Broadcasting industry. Over the last 15 years, BBG Sports has been involved in a range of events and sports such as Wimbledon, Australian Open Tennis, US Open Tennis, French Open Tennis, Augusta National Golf and the Olympics. The 'Hot Spot' uses two Cedip Emerald IR cameras positioned above the field of play at opposite ends of the ground to record play and spur into action if there is an umpiring incident. The sensitive Emerald IR cameras are able to remotely sense and measure the miniscule amount of heat generated by a collision, such as ball on pad, ball on bat and ball on ground enabling an exact decision to be made for a snick, a bat-pad catch or a LBW (leg before wicket) appeal. When an umpiring decision comes into play, the continuously recording cameras produce a black and white negative image which shows the ball's precise point of contact.

The Tools Used

The Cedip Emerald LR is a high performance thermal imaging camera optimized for long range surveillance and tracking in mobile systems or field installations. Incorporating sensitive InSb focal plane array sensor, state-of-the-art 14bit digital electronics and motorized optics in a compact, weatherproof housing the Emerald LR camera is a perfect choice for sensitive, outdoor thermal IR measurement.

The Difference it Made

The 'Hot Spot' system was trialed at the recent Ashes cricket test match between Australia and England in Brisbane by broadcasters at the Nine Network. The network's head of sport, Steve Crawley, said, "The 'Hot Spot' is a scientifically proven piece of technology that will end all speculation surrounding a dismissal."



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