MANHASSET, NY -- If you like to go bow shooting, now you can do so with a high-tech measurement system that uses a MEMS as part of an arrow-mounted device which provides detailed information about arrow speed, flight dynamics and bow performance.
Full Flight Technology (Cambridge, MA) uses the microelectromechanical device in its Velocitip Ballistic System, designed for archery equipment manufacturers, sportsmen and competitive archers.
The Velocitip Ballistic System includes an arrow tip, battery pack, docking station, USB cable and PC software. The system uses the Analog Devices’ ADXL346 accelerometer to continuously measure arrow drag in flight to provide downrange performance data.
Unlike a ballistic chronograph, this system does not require down-range equipment to measure arrow performance at target impact. The archer threads the arrow tip to the arrow in a conventional manner and shoots at the target.
“This is without a doubt the most sophisticated microelectronics technology ever applied to the field of archery,” said Bob Donahoe, founder of Full Flight Technology.
Nick Meinert, engineering and technical support at Victory Archery, which designs and manufactures carbon-fiber arrows said: “Because so much useful information is precisely recorded for each shot, we find that the Velocitip System enables us to more quickly and easily identify those factors most important to improving arrow design and downrange performance.”
An arrow experiences forces over 1,000 g at launch and over 4,000 g at impact, for each shot. Each tip must be able to survive for a minimum of 100 shots.
Analog Devices claims that during product development, the ADXL346 was housed in an arrow tip and successfully tested for 100 cycles at 5,000 g. The MEMS accelerometer is housed in a 9-mm-diameter aluminum arrow tip and weighs less than 6.5 grams. Coin cell batteries power the arrow tip for a minimum of 100 shots.
The device provides 13-bit resolution measurement at up to ±16 g, and features an integrated memory-management system with a 32-level FIFO (first-in, first-out) buffer to store ballistics data.
Great idea; I wonder though if the brief flight of the arrow can be powered efficiently with energy harvesting techniques. For instance, the company suggests that at 400 ft/sec launch speed the maximum range for the arrow is 95 yards. For more info see this paper: http://www.velocitip.com/Documents/IEEE_Sensors2011.pdf
Sounds to me like it is intended largely for arrow manufacturers where they can use the data to make improvements to their arrows. And since many archers make their own arrows that would apply to them as well where they can now make improvements "on-the-fly".
I wonder what kind of analysis is possible with this system? Is is just the 3 axis measurements and what if any zeroing/recalibration is possible before each flight? It would be nice to add sensors to the ends of the bow to fully monitor the bow/arrow performance - especially if there was some way to synchronize the multiple sensors data logs.
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