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Development Of A Real Time, Industrially Hardened, Ski Performance Analysis System

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Instrumentation and Control Applications

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.420.1 - 8.420.15



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Paper Authors

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Peter Shull

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session #2259

Development of a Real Time, Industrially Hardened, Ski Performance Analysis System

Christopher A. Kilraine, James W. Shevock, and Dr. Peter J. Shull The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus


At Penn State Altoona, as a senior design project in the Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology department, we have developed an instrumentation system to measure the dynamic response of skis under real time skiing conditions. The intent is to monitor the ski response during different styles of high performance use. Consequently, initial modeling and static testing were required to determine both sensor type and placement to capture the critical parameters during a specific ski maneuver. Apart from the determination of sensor type and optimum placement, environmentally hardening (handling of large temperature variations and large and rapid loading) of the system proved challenging. The specific measurements performed were ski displacement and acceleration. In this work, we will discuss the design and construction processes, the testing processes, and the specific results of the static and dynamic testing. This information and testing system, which is coordinated with ski manufacturers, will then be available for the future redesigning of skis for specific performance constraints such as freestyle or slalom.


The use of sophisticated industrially hardened data acquisition (DAQ) tools and software along with instrumentation is a growing field in industry. The applications cover a very broad range from measuring human biomechanics to the thermal conductivity of fluids in motion. 1, 3 The typical process of instrumentation and data acquisition is as follows. Transducers are applied to the system to measure some physical quantity and convert it into an electrical signal. This electrical signal must sometimes be amplified and electrical noise must be filtered. These electrical signals are then converted to digital format for data storage in a data acquisition device. 5 The collected data can then be retrieved and uploaded to a number of software packages for analysis.

While the concept of monitoring of a physical event is simple enough, the difficulty arises when the system must perform outside a laboratory-type setting. 4 Currently most ski analysis systems measure static response in a laboratory setting. 9 The associated DAQ equipment is not designed to handle the harsh environment in which actual skiing is performed. Additionally, ski loads are primarily dynamic. Therefore, the design of a system that can withstand the environmental conditions of a ski slope and acquire dynamic real time data is a significant challenge. However, the resultant data and subsequent analysis offers significant insight into ski behavior for ski users “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003. American Society for Engineering Education”

Shull, P. (2003, June), Development Of A Real Time, Industrially Hardened, Ski Performance Analysis System Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11766

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