Trackman A/s refers to a Danish technology company that designs, manufactures and sells 3D ball flight measurement equipment for sport. Trackman A/S company started creating a system for tracking the golf ball in 2003 which they called a Trackman or a Trackman radar. The unit is used by the sport professionals to analyse the golf swings and at the same time find out the efficiencies of the club impact (Coates, 2015, p. 312).
The trackman radar tracks the trajectory of the golf ball from the moment the ball is launched until it lands .The ability of the Trackman radar to track the track the ball full flight is very significance in obtaining the highest quality of data. The trackman radar can easily pic very important information regarding to the club head, giving the correct picture of the club during the impact. The technology which the trackman uses is referred to as Doppler radar which is widely applied in military fields to track and detect projectiles and missiles (Company, 2013, p. 173).
The golf unit is much potable and can easily and quickly be set up which allows for sufficient collection of data within a short duration. The golf unit is usually set up on the ground behind the T-box and points towards the player. The moment the player starts to swing the unit starts to track the club head. The moment the ball is impacted the golf unit starts to track the ball till the signal is completely lost all until the ball hits the ground. The unit then displays sufficient data about the ball contact, swing and the ball trajectory. The data which is displayed by the trackman can be used by the golf players to help them improve on their swing and at the same time it can be used by the gold developers in measuring the product performance and information (Corporation, 2012, p. 296).
The setup of the trackman requires that the radar to be placed vertically in the air maintaining a ratio of 3:1 between the distance from the home plate and the height of the trackman unit.3:1 is considered to be the optimal ratio which was determined by Trackman A/S in order to optimize the field of view at the same time minimising the noise which is caused by multipath reflection. Having the radar positioned at high in the air helps the player on the filed from blocking the line of sight of the ball (Rudman, 2017, p. 365).
Because the multipath reflection is a result of the low angle of tracking, the position of the trackman radar requires to be in a position such that the signal which is returning is of the greatest magnitude possible. This shows that positioning the ball that is at a least horizontal and vertical angle of the antennas in the trackman radar, which in turn increases the chances that the position of the ball during the pitch and ensures that it will hit be directly in line with the signal is emitted. The 3:1 ratio position also increases the angle made by the multipath reflection with the ground as shown in figure 1 below.
In the figure above the multipath signal is shown by the dotted line shown for a hit at three different locations in its trajectory. It can be clearly seen in the figure above that when the Trackman radar is close to the surface the multipath signals makes an angle which is smaller when it is reflected off the surface, this results to a smaller angler at the antenna. The higher the radar is raised above the ground the steeper the multipath signal angle (Kindelan, 2013, p. 34).
How the Trackman system gives the x, y, and z coordinates according to earth's topology
The coordinate system of the Trackman for the golf ball applies the positive x-direction which usually points to the pitcher, which is at the same level with the ground, the positive coordinate which points upwards and the z coordinate which points to the catcher’s right. Hence the golf/pitched ball is mainly moving in the negative x-direction as shown in figure 2 below.
The coordinate field system can be seen in the diagram starting at the tip of the home plate with the X f , Y f , and Z f axis pointing which points in the same direction as the coordinate system of the radar. The position of the ball at any given time as reported by the user it is in respect with the field coordinate system.
The trackman radar uses a self-levelling system which enables it to keep the antennas pointed in an angle of 4o and tilted about the Z r axis. The optimal 4o tilt is an allowance to allow the radar to be pointed upwards slightly mainly for the purpose of optimization for tracking flying balls. There are two legs at the bottom of the radar which enable it to level about the X r axis such that the radar remains in level with the ground (Kindelan, 2016, p. 54).
In conclusion, the Trackman system for the golf ball uses the same technology which is used in the tracking and detecting projectiles and missiles which is referred to as Doppler radar. From that it is possible to use the Trackman system for tracking the golf ball to track and detect projectiles and missiles if more modifications are done to it.
The coordinate system of the Trackman for the golf ball applies the positive x-direction which usually points to the pitcher, which is at the same level with the ground, the positive coordinate which points upwards and the z coordinate which points to the catcher’s right (Davis, 2013, p. 193).
Coates, J. E., 2015. The Trackman's Helper, a Handbook for Track Foremen, Supervisors and Engineers. 3rd ed. London: wentworth Press.
Company, A. P., 2013. Trackman. 5th ed. Chicago: Civil Service Division, National Learning Corporation.
Corporation, N. L., 2012. Trackman (track Worker): Test Preparation Study Guide : Questions & Answers. 1st ed. Sydney: National Learning Corporation,.
Davis, A., 2013. Rail Failures for the Trackman, with Notes on Rail Specifications, Rail Manufacture, and Rail Sections. 2015 ed. Perth: BiblioBazaar.
Kindelan, J., 2013. The Trackman's Helper: Revised and Enlarged ... A Book of Instruction for Track Foremen. 1st ed. Paris: Roadmaster and Foreman.
Kindelan, J., 2016. The Trackman's Helper. 2nd ed. Texas: BiblioBazaar,.
Rudman, M., 2017. Trackman (Track Worker): Passbooks Study Guide. 4th ed. Auckland: National Learning Corporation.
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