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FAI, Wingsuits, and the Grid

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There are also points in our own system that need testing, improvements and commenting, which we will.

Much like I hope the USPA grid will also not candy-coat their proposal and just highlight the things they like...

As you are well aware, I have previously expressed reservations about the USPA system too.

Here's a new idea (it's what crystallographers do to measure the perfection of a crystal). Take the 2-d Fourier transform of the digitized formation, and use the width of the power spectrum as a measure. There's plenty of free existing software, and it can even be generalized to 3-d once we figure out how to set the cameras.

Taking it a step further, in Fourier space we could easily do a deconvolution of the actually flown formation, using the planned formation as the deconvolving function, with the resultant being the error function.
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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Here's a new idea (it's what crystallographers do to measure the perfection of a crystal). Take the 2-d Fourier transform of the digitized formation, and use the width of the power spectrum as a measure. There's plenty of free existing software, and it can even be generalized to 3-d once we figure out how to set the cameras.

care to explain this stuff in the language of the average skydiver and elaborate on how this works and why it's a good measure?
also, could you give an example on some existing pictures of wingsuit formations?
or at least start with some pictures of crystals or and explain how this power spectrum differentiates a crappy crystal from a neat crystal. some visualizations would really help... for those of us who don't do power spectrums on a daily basis...

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How does the software solution deal with lens distortion? I'm assuming since the angles are all based off each local member, that this method can handle lens distortion better than the grid can.

Also, where do you put the dots? In the center of the helmet? What happens if you have a dot in what you think is the center of a helmet, and the formation fails, but you move that dot over to the edge of the helmet and then it succeeds? It could turn into a "positioning game" like the current grid is.

All in all though I think it sounds like a really good idea.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Here's a new idea (it's what crystallographers do to measure the perfection of a crystal). Take the 2-d Fourier transform of the digitized formation, and use the width of the power spectrum as a measure. There's plenty of free existing software, and it can even be generalized to 3-d once we figure out how to set the cameras.

care to explain this stuff in the language of the average skydiver and elaborate on how this works and why it's a good measure?
also, could you give an example on some existing pictures of wingsuit formations?
or at least start with some pictures of crystals or and explain how this power spectrum differentiates a crappy crystal from a neat crystal. some visualizations would really help... for those of us who don't do power spectrums on a daily basis...

It describes which frequencies are present in the original function. This is in a similar spirit to the way that a chord of music can be described by notes that are being played. In effect, the Fourier transform decomposes a function into oscillatory functions. The term Fourier transform refers both to the frequency domain representation of a function and to the process or formula that "transforms" one function into the other.

An imperfect formation would be like a musical chord or a note with distortion, a perfect formation like a single undistorted note. The Fourier transform allows you to analyze the frequencies in the note, including those due to the distortion.

Hand sketch attached - perfect crystal on left, crappy on right. The width of the crappy curve is a measure of the crystal's crappiness.
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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I think we need a big boogie where many different methods are used to evaluate the same formations...seems like a good excuse to wingsuit to me.

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How does the software solution deal with lens distortion? I'm assuming since the angles are all based off each local member, that this method can handle lens distortion better than the grid can.

I do not think that is true. Photographing the grid with the lens to be used could handle the lens distortion fairly easily. OTOH, each of the error thingies (not sure what he calls them) in Jarno's method would need to be adjusted individually according to position in the formation.

Measuring the transfer fucntion of lenses is pretty easy to do, anyway.

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Also, where do you put the dots? In the center of the helmet? What happens if you have a dot in what you think is the center of a helmet, and the formation fails, but you move that dot over to the edge of the helmet and then it succeeds? It could turn into a "positioning game" like the current grid is.

It positioning "the grid" there is only one choice to make. In positioning helmet dots, each one can be individually positioned. So in a 100-way, there are 100 dots to position, each of which can be adjusted to fit. 100 degrees of freedom.

The whole issue needs a rigorous analysis, it's not a trivial problem.
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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I think we need a big boogie where many different methods are used to evaluate the same formations...seems like a good excuse to wingsuit to me.

SUMMERFEST!
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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cool cool.
crystal part makes sense.
have you tried doing the spectrum on some wingsuit formations? I'd be curious to see the actual spectrum picture of the 25way from summerfest, which was ridiculously good looking, compared to some crappier flock... maybe the 28way that wasn't submitted that you guys said was not as nice
I'd also love to see it for the 71way from '08, vs the 68way in '09

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I think we need a big boogie where many different methods are used to evaluate the same formations...seems like a good excuse to wingsuit to me.

Hell yeah!! I also propose after-hours activities to include mud fights between the various groups proposing different judging methods.

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First of, appologies for the bad typos..using my Iphone and not that big of a star at typing yet.
Secondly, anyone in the USA wanting more info and a hands on look, give DSE a shout, he has the latest version.

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I have to agree with what Kallend has pointed out. The info in the FAI pdf only shows one side of the negative aspects, that being the USPA's current method. Why are there no negatives listed for the proposed computer software method?

Because we needed to adres the reason why there was a need for a more refined/different judging method/development. If we dont think there is stuff that needs further development, we wouldnt bother commenting and putting the work in.

A bit the opposite of you and kallend choosing to comment loosely on the shortcomings of the USPA grid, yet not dare stick your neck out and ask why the input and ideas you indoubtebly have on improvements. As those are no longer possible in the plan submitted for 2011 acceptance reg. the USPA grid.

The critique on the grid is why we choose to try and initiate a COMMUNITY DEVELOPED method.
For which we just hope to receive the time and room from the FAI, before an obviously flawwed method in dire need of further development is accepted and pushed (for luck of a better alternative).

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First observation/question that comes to my mind is this: Will this software be free for everyone to use or is it being sold?

The judging method and software we use are two seperate things.
The software used is merely a practical implementation of a proposed judging method.
If and when it seems there is a concept worth further persueing, there will of course be some small price involved. One we will try to keep low and acceptable/accesable to everyone. Maybe use advertising to assist. We will see. Money isnt what we currently have on our mind. Look at all other stuff we've done to see if our intent is money making or further developmemt of the dicipline.

That aside, why ask this question like a few bucks would be an evil thing for our proposal, when the USPA accepted method demands a \$699,- dollar piece of software (photoshop).
Where was this question asked by you when that one got accepted?
Unless illegal use of software is what you want to advocate (everyone is using photoshop so far).

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If it's being sold, then there is a clear agenda here and that is to sell software. If this software is going to be distributed and maintained for free for anyone to use then it should be stated as such.

Again, the software and method implemented within are separate things.
And where is that statement regarding the required purchase of photoshop for the other method?
You often refer to your own book when it comes to safety. Can I than conclude your intentent is book sales over publicly accesable information?
Of course not. Same here.

But cost if any, will be based on accesability, not profit.

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Second observation is that despite the speed of judging advantages the software offers, it really isn't better than the grid in so much that it is still limited to formations on one plane

Just call me when your x-ray judging system is complete and operational.
As 3d, radar, lidar etc systems wouldnt even be able to handle that one.

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and for all practical purposes it is still creating a grid based off of the base. The only difference is there is no "slinky grid" that can be manipulated.

.

Not really. Maybe attend the presentation or wait till we show
more online later to better understand.
'Slinky grid' implicates there is only a maximum distance.

A wooden dowel with small elastic bits on the end in between each flyer would be a better (simplified) explanation.

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Third observation/question: Neither the current nor the proposed software solutions addresses the fact or identifies how many pictures can be submitted or used to make a determination of a completed formation. This again allows for a machine gunning of the camera to capture and find the one photo that best fits the formation. Basically, take enough photos and one of them will show a completed formation for that split second in time. Consequentially, this is where the software would be faster than the human in sorting thorough the hundreds of photos but is this "spray and pray" mentality what "we" really want to adopt and use as a measuring stick to quantify success?

100% agreed, and one of the points I have listed in terms of things we need to work out.
And severly disappointed (again) our proposal for development gets a lot of biased critique while the other method aimed at locking us down to a standard containing these same (and more) flaws goes by unnoticed and without comments.

Hoping this makes you and others realise quick acceptance of systems in their infancy is something we shouldnt do, and community wide development and input is what we need.

After the FAI meet, I will try and get everything online and see where we can take this.
Worst case scenario, we THINK about judging, rather than accepting a flawed system without doing so...

When I asked about the USPA grid and posdible FAI submittion half a year ago, I was an a##hole and needed to show an alternative..
Now it was appearantly not that weird a suggestion..

I hope you (everyone) is eager to think about this subject more.
Dont critisize my means of presenting, think about the actual subject (judging).

Think solutions...
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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I also propose after-hours activities to include mud fights between the various groups proposing different judging methods.

Like DZ.COM, but for real instead of in cyberspace
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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also, if any two methods are tied for winner, I propose a cock measuring contest to settle any doubts.

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A bit the opposite of you and kallend choosing to comment loosely on the shortcomings of the USPA grid, yet not dare stick your neck out and ask why the input and ideas you indoubtebly have on improvements. As those are no longer possible in the plan submitted for 2011 acceptance reg. the USPA grid. ..

As far as I can tell from the agenda, USPA is not proposing anything at the next meeting, and there are 2 USPA BOD meetings before the 2011 FAI meeting. So we have no idea what USPA will present NEXT year. You appear to think it a foregone conclusion. I don't.

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I hope you (everyone) is eager to think about this subject more.
Dont critisize my means of presenting, think about the actual subject (judging).

Who has criticized your means of presenting? All that's been criticized is your claim of being objective when clearly you are not.
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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also, if any two methods are tied for winner, I propose a cock measuring contest to settle any doubts.

And I thought you were such a NICE girl.
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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lens distortion can be implemented in the software fairly easy, though at this time we choose not to (yet) to prevent clouding the subject even more.
Though it is high on our list of thibgs to adres.

With regards to the time it takes placing dots(flyers)
Judging a virtual formation of 100 people takes me about 3 minutes.
Its not that bad.

With regards to dot placement.
We now use centered head placement (semi transparant dots) but anything is possible.
Helmet or rig stickers with a trackingpoint would even be possible for a more automated approach.
Rigs, complete bodies in a bounding box and using that center...its just a matter of trying..

Anyone wanting any picture tested on...just mail it to [email protected] or DSE and we'll gladly give it a go..

That aside, in terms of perfection, the avatar 25 way USPA state record pic/formation Kallend has is the most precise 'bigger' formation to date in terms of accuracy (I get % vallues on each judged pic)
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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AND ANOTHER THING!

How is a wingsuit formation defined?

Do we even want to define what we do by the clothes we wear? We don't have RW suit formations or freefly suit formations. VFS records are defined by what they do, not by the clothes they wear.

What is to stop a bunch of good belly fliers putting tiny, functionless wings under their arms and claiming a wingsuit formation while falling straight down.

Surely there should be some reference to the type of flight.
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I think you are missing the point kallend and I are bringing up about the FAI pdf. Kallend bolded the pertinent text to make it more obvious as to what he was talking about. That is his and also my question. Why say you will compare the positives and negatives and only show the negatives of the USPA system? It looks very one sided and makes the whole document look more like a sales flyer for the software and nothing like what you are saying here.

I don't disagree with the problems of having to use photoshop or any of the other shortcomings you mentioned in your previous post. I think that the current USPA system and the software based systems are both fundamentally flawed and are basically doing the same thing, creating a grid, which many not personally involved with this issue in the WS community readily admit is not viable. Both systems rely on software of some sort and or are open to manipulation in one way or another. It's like trying to build a better house on a compromised foundation. Why not come up with a solution that doesn't require a computer.....like video. It's used and has been used extensively in skydiving for years. I'll throw that out there for shits and giggles and to address the "come up with a better solution" come back that seems so popular. I can think of a few ways this could potentially be used and it would allow for more than one big formation and formations on different planes and it wouldn't require investing in any software or take hours to do afterwards.

When will we have a viable solution to this? When everyone realizes that the currently discussed method(s) aren't worth wasting the time on trying to improve and move to another idea "outside of the box" that we're limiting ourselves to.

As Kallend mentioned, cracking this nut is not a trivial task. There are way more variables in it than any other discipline that make it harder to put into a black and white context that is needed( and used) in other skydiving disciplines
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
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What is to stop a bunch of good belly fliers putting tiny, functionless wings under their arms and claiming a wingsuit formation while falling straight down.

Surely there should be some reference to the type of flight.

HAHA. This made me smile as I know this is what Yuri must think of when he talks about flocking. Thanks for the laugh. But you do make a valid point.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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AND ANOTHER THING!

How is a wingsuit formation defined?

Do we even want to define what we do by the clothes we wear?
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Surely there should be some reference to the type of flight.

Agreed; James Boole and I put together a set of proposals regarding the definition of a wingsuit for the purposes of this kind of event a few years back. Not sure whether it went anywhere though. It's not that difficult; main definition for me is a requirement for wing aerofoil to be double-surface construction of a minimum percentage (to avoid confusion with camera wings).
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le solution to this? When everyone realizes that the currently discussed method(s) aren't worth wasting the time on trying to improve and move to another idea "outside of the box" that we're limiting ourselves to.

And this is THE exact problem as wel on this subject.
Many people proudly hitting their chest, pertaining to have answers, yet not giving any actual input, ideas or alternatives whatso-ever.
Kallend and a few noteworhty others being the exception..

You made this exact comment a few years ago on aerobatic/artistic competitions and judging, and you promised your incredible ideas and input.
The world is still waiting...

Comments and critique are wonderfull, but dont pretend to have answers you dont have.
As thats either arrogant or selfish (depending on your answer).

But good to hear we're all doing it wrong. Im counting on you for big contributions on the subject in the months to follow..and not run of with the usual 'ill post it later..'

Its not about 'WHOS' method we addopt...its about WHAT method we as a community develop.
I hope Zach also emails me his ideas/concept, as Id love to be able to include that one in the discussion as well, and hopefully see if we can merge or adopt concepts to work towards a final workable solution..
JC
FlyLikeBrick
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You are obviously overlooking the "we" part of my statement(s) and like the discussions we've had in the past, are not seeing the forest through the trees. It's no stretch to say that there are more than a few people who don't agree with the grid system. All the reasons and problems have been hashed out in other threads. The greater question is then, if the collective "we" have said system X is not viable, why do "we" continue to try and build a better system on top of the same flawed one? The only thing that mentality creates is a more complex and convoluted solution that doesn't address or fix the core of the underlying problem.

I don't have all of the answers to the plethora of variables this topics has, no one does IMO. But I do know, as do others, when something is the wrong answer or course to take. Just because I or someone else points this out, doesn't put the onus on them to provide the solution. At the end of the day if the list of shortcomings is greater than the perceived benefits the plan probably needs to be scrapped.

But lets not to turn this into another argument thread but rather lets address the topic.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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Are you the judge?

- No mercy in the flock! Straighten your legs!!! -

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Are you the judge?

of course!!
did you wanna judge, too? you're welcome to join in...

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How is a wingsuit formation defined?

Do we even want to define what we do by the clothes we wear? We don't have RW suit formations or freefly suit formations. VFS records are defined by what they do, not by the clothes they wear.

What is to stop a bunch of good belly fliers putting tiny, functionless wings under their arms and claiming a wingsuit formation while falling straight down.

That is a good question. In Elsinore records it could have been possible to fly in the formation with tracking suit. Would it be a wingsuitrecord if some of the flyers are not using wingsuit?
- No mercy in the flock! Straighten your legs!!! -

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did you wanna judge, too? you're welcome to join in...

Oh no ... I was just dreaming you measuring me...
- No mercy in the flock! Straighten your legs!!! -

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