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J Sports Sci. 2010 May;28(7):759-69. doi: 10.1080/02640411003716934.

3D measurements of alpine skiing with an inertial sensor motion capture suit and GNSS RTK system.

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Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


To date, camcorders have been the device of choice for 3D kinematic measurement in human locomotion, in spite of their limitations. This study examines a novel system involving a GNSS RTK that returns a reference trajectory through the use of a suit, imbedded with inertial sensors, to reveal subject segment motion. The aims were: (1) to validate the system's precision and (2) to measure an entire alpine ski race and retrieve the results shortly after measuring. For that purpose, four separate experiments were performed: (1) forced pendulum, (2) walking, (3) gate positions, and (4) skiing experiments. Segment movement validity was found to be dependent on the frequency of motion, with high accuracy (0.8 degrees , s = 0.6 degrees ) for 10 s, which equals approximately 10 slalom turns, while accuracy decreased slightly (2.1 degrees , 3.3 degrees , and 4.2 degrees for 0.5, 1, and 2 Hz oscillations, respectively) during 35 s of data collection. The motion capture suit's orientation inaccuracy was mostly due to geomagnetic secular variation. The system exhibited high validity regarding the reference trajectory (0.008 m, s = 0.0044) throughout an entire ski race. The system is capable of measuring an entire ski course with less manpower and therefore lower cost compared with camcorder-based techniques.

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