BBC laps up Trackcam at swimming championships

BBC Outside Broadcasts made use of Camera Corps Poolside Trackcam plus two under-water flip-turn camera support systems to capture the action at the Ninth FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships held at the Manchester Evening News Arena.

The FINA Championships gave television audiences the chance to see
some of the best swimming in the world. Kirsty Coventry won the women’s
trophy, Ryan Lochte the men’s, and USA the team trophy. British
swimmers finished fifth in the medals table, behind America, Australia,
The Netherlands and Zimbabwe, with three gold, ten silver and eleven
bronze medals.

“We have provided Poolside Trackcam for most major swimming events
during the past eight years,” comments Camera Corps Managing Director
Laurie Frost. “For this year’s Short Course Championships we deployed
our latest dynamic camera tracking system along the full length of the
25 metre pool. We have completely updated the electrical track control
to introduce higher controllability and more features. Based on our
standard 300 mm gauge track, Poolside Trackcam has very gentle
acceleration and can advance the camera to a maximum speed of 3.8
metres per second. The entire tracking system can be operational within
4 hours of delivery and packed away within 3 hours.”

“The new Poolside Trackcam system allows up to eight preset camera
positions to be preset,” adds Camera Corps’ Design Engineer Mitchel
Randall. “It incorporates the latest low-noise synchronous motor and
drive technology with a 12 kHz pulse-width modulation feed for precise
speed control. Maximum velocity is dependent on the timing pulley size
and gearbox ratio to suit load and inertia requirements. Fully
programmable S-Curve acceleration and deceleration profiling permits
snatch-free take-off, stop and speed synchronisation. Live velocity
adjustment allows the camera to track at the same speed as the live
action. S-Curve velocity profiling is used as standard between each of
eight programmable positions. Full TCP/IP connectivity allows
programming, live diagnostics and monitoring of single or multiple
systems using standard Ethernet technology. Additional new features
include digital synchronisation of two or more tracks and easy system
expansion including the potential for addition software-based
facilities. The control rack is a compact 3 U control compared with the
4 U volume of the previous controller.”

As well as the tracking system, Camera Corps fielded a Panasonic
AWE800 16:9 SD-SDI underwater camera at each end of the pool to capture
the swimmers’ flip turns. Each underwater camera was equipped with
remote pan and tilt.