Tech Story 2
Radar rules – more data samples, more certainty
During impact, the club head and golf ball are in contact with each other for less than half a millisecond (0.0005 of a second), meaning for much less time than the human eye can register. This elusive moment is best captured with radar technology due to its extremely high capture rate compared to any other technology.
TrackMan is capable of reporting impact data at the exact moment of maximum compression, measured at the geometric center of the club. This ensures ultra-high precision tracking and eliminates error in data reporting.
Capturing the club trajectory
When the average male golfer swings his driver, the club head’s movement, or trajectory, is captured by the radar beam from knee high, down through impact, and back up to knee high again. During this 0.1 second swing sequence, 4,000 data samples are captured and measured by TrackMan 4’s ultra-high frequency radar.
This time lapse equates to 40,000 samples per second. By contrast, an optical based ‘golf launch monitor’ positioned side-on only sees the club head around impact. During this moment, it sees the club head for less than 0.01 seconds and collects maybe 40 images per camera (4,000 frames per second assumed). In comparison, TrackMan’s Dual Radar sees the club for 10 times as long, and collects more than 100 times as many data samples than an optical launch monitor do when measuring club trajectory.
Capturing the moment of impact
When TrackMan’s radar sensory system captures the extreme brief moment of impact, it amounts to approximately 20 measurements (also called samples). Optical launch monitor systems capture just 1-2 measurements (also called frames). Since the capture rate for an optical system is so low, it’s less probable to consistently capture the exact moment of maximum compression and hence deliver consistent and precise data (about impact).
Subsequently, it’s unknown if the optical system photographed well before first touch, just before first touch, or at first touch, last touch, or somewhere in-between. If an image is not captured at maximum compression, how would the system know when impact really occurred? To demonstrate the superiority of a radar sensory system over an optical system, the capture rate performance at the moment of impact from the two technologies is compared here below:
- TrackMan = 40,000*0.0005 = 20
- Optical = 4,000*0.0005 = 2
Other advantages using radar technology in golf
The fact that the TrackMan radar sees the club head from knee high to knee high also means that it can measure other important swing characteristics such as Swing Plane, Swing Direction, Swing Radius, Low Point and Speed Profiles. All these parameters are critical for explaining the interconnection between the different club data parameters. From a usability perspective, TrackMan’s radar technology is extremely easy to use with no to little boundaries when it comes to set-up (which is extremely fast and functional), dexterity, and weather. As the full ball flight is tracked and measured from impact to landing, the use of ball markers is uncalled-for, as well as the full forward club swing is measured – again without any use of markers.