With the aid of BAE Systems (a technology partner of UK Sport) and the EIS Performance Innovation team, Britain’s elite equestrian teams will benefit from sensor technologies normally used to manage cockpit conditions for fighter pilots, with the project’s aim to support the teams transporting horses to major competitive events throughout the season.
As with athletes, the performance of horses flying to international competition can be adversely affected by the symptoms of long haul air travel. Engineers at BAE Systems were asked to provide a technical solution to overcome the impact of long haul travel to ensure the animals arrive in a peak state of health and fitness; ready for competition.
The specialist team at BAE Systems produced a unique and bespoke environmental monitoring unit developed, called Equus-Sense, for the British Equestrian Federation (BEF). The technology builds upon advanced sensor systems such as those that monitor cockpit conditions and air quality found in Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft for the fighter pilots. Novel integration techniques and additional sensors appropriate to equestrian transport were introduced to provide a complete monitoring unit for the horses. The system covers elements including sound, temperature, vibration, humidity, dust levels and oxygen, allowing trainers and athletes to monitor the environmental conditions for horses travelling to international events.
The development of the environmental monitoring unit was co-ordinated by the EIS Performance Innovation team. Naomi Stenhouse, Head of Performance Innovation at the EIS explained:
“We were approached by the BEF, which was keen to optimise the travel environment for its horses, and through our longstanding partnership with BAE Systems have been able to broker a relationship which deploys technology developed by the company to address a wide range of issues and help ensure the horses arrive at competitions in a peak state of health and fitness.
“The project is a great example of how our partnership with BAE Systems provides added value by enabling sports and national governing bodies to access third party technology and engineering expertise that can help to deliver performance benefits.”
Engineers and sports scientists at the English Institute of Sport have worked together since 2009 and in that time 250 athletes from 30 different Olympic and Paralympic sporting discipline have benefitted from some of the UK’s most advanced technologies.
Through the partnership, both UK Sport and the EIS are able to harness the ‘best of British’ in attracting and developing sports and engineering talent, supporting British athletes as they prepare for national and international competitions.
The full original article originally appeared on the BAE Systems website.