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Title: Precise location measurement in indoor and outdoor performance sports
Author: Perrat, Bertrand
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 2099
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2017
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Knowing precisely where an athlete is with regards to their environment and the motions involved is of critical interest from a sport performance perspective. Engineering and technology provide a significant opportunity for sport science to achieve this. The research investigates and develops state-of-the-art positioning technologies and techniques to be used for such sport tracking applications. Further addressing the real-world use of such techniques, the thesis additionally focuses on the development of sport specific metrics from such tracking data that can be used for performance analysis. Two separate case studies have supported this research, the first one focusing on precise location measurement indoors, the second one outdoors. Each case study has a targeted sport application. The investigation of indoor precise location measurement for performance sports focuses on the use of a commercial Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) system for wheelchair court sports athlete tracking. UWB radio positioning systems are maturing very quickly and now represent a good candidate for indoor positioning. Several aspects have been investigated including system setup, calibration, sensor positioning, de- termination of sport performance indicators and quality assessment of the output. With a simple setup procedure, it has been demonstrated that athletes tracking can be achieved with an average horizontal positioning error of 0:37 m (σ = ± 0:24m). Distance covered can be computed after data processing with an error below 0.5% of the course length. It has also been demonstrated that the acquisition rate and the number of wheelchairs on the court does not affect significantly the positioning quality; however, for highly dynamic movement tracking, higher rates are recommended for finer dynamic recording. To further support the sport science community, sport specific metrics derived from the UWB system output have been proposed and integrated into a software that has been used in a number of studies. The investigation of outdoor precise location measurement for performance sports focuses on the use of GPS and inertial technologies for sprint canoeing and kayaking tracking. The requirements directing this research were the development of a solution that can achieve accurate sprint timing as well as provide new insights on the sprinting dynamics. The combined use of GPS and inertial technologies results in an inertial navigation solution producing position, velocity and orientation estimates of the boat at high rate. A novel approach is proposed to achieve the sensor fusion of GPS and IMU measurements through the use of factor graph modelling and efficient solvers. A key advantage of the proposed approach is to allow a complete re-linearisation of the system as opposed to traditional Kalman Filter approaches. As part of this research, a novel factor graph formulation of an advanced GPS positioning technique has been developed, allowing precise relative positioning without the need for a base station. In addition, a novel \tightly- coupled" approach is proposed to jointly optimise GPS and IMU measurements. The quality assessment of the proposed approach has demonstrated that horizontal positioning is achieved with a mean error of 4:9 cm (σ = ± 2:9 cm) over the 30 minutes of an on-water trial. Boat velocity was estimated with an accuracy of a few mm/s. Roll and pitch angles reported an accuracy better than a 1=10th of a degree and yaw a standard deviation of 0:336_. From a sport perspective, 10-metres split timing is robustly achieved within a 1=100th of a second. Similarly, sprint timing for distances ranging from 100 to 500 metres is achieved with an accuracy of a few 1/100th of a second. A stroke detection algorithm has been developed and demonstrated a detection rate of 99.5% over more than 20000 strokes. The high-rate and the precision of the solution obtained with the proposed approach combined with the accurate stroke detection allows the creation of a whole range of new metrics providing new insights on the sprinting dynamics. A selection of sport specific metrics are proposed as part of this work, highlighting the potential of the developed approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GV Recreation. Leisure