Olympic pentathlon athletes will use LASER PISTOLS

Sport, Tech Digest news

bae-pentathlon-pistol.jpgBAE Systems, best known for their work in the security and defence technology fields, have offered a helping hand to the British Modern Pentathlon team by providing them with laser pistols to use at the London 2012 Olympic games.

Rather than using traditional, mechanical, bullet-firing pistols, the athletes will be kitted out with an ULTeMo pistol, which employs laser systems originally used to protect aircraft from hostile attack.

Sadly, these wont be the sort of laser pistols familiar to fans of Star Wars. Rather, they’ll fire a harmless laser blast at targets during the pentathlon event, and offer greater reliability and accuracy over traditional pistols previously used in the event.

“With experts in laser technology and optics and a suite of laboratory facilities, we have been able to help to verify the correct operation of the laser equipment,” said Kelvin Davies, BAE Systems Project Leader of the UK Sport Technology Partnership.

“This kind of technology has never been available to the sport before. It allows the pentathletes to test their equipment in the minutes leading up to a competition, helping to eliminate any last minute concerns which could affect their performance – and potentially make the difference between winning and losing.

The challenge in building this system lies in the fact that the laser pulse is very short. High speed electronics are needed to perform the analysis and provide the athlete with the result. The ULTeMo system offers a high degree of usability, portability and provides instantaneous results.”

Keep an eye on the games on August 11th to catch the pistols in action at the Modern Pentathlon event.

Gerald Lynch
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