Researchers Using Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields to Track a Football

A team of researchers from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University are working with Disney Research to develop a system that uses low-frequency magnetic fields to track a football. The technology could be advantageous when a ball is blocked from view, tracking the forward progress of the ball or when the game is played in low visibility situations.

Taking into account the accepted professional weight of footballs, the researchers developed a low frequency transmitter that when placed in a football, could be used in National Football League games. The field is outfitted with antennas to receive signals from the transmitter and track the football’s location. An issue the team is working to solve is when low frequency magnetic fields come in contact with the Earth; they are absorbed, and the ground re-emits the field. The secondary field confuses the antennas and reduces the accuracy of the tracking systems. The goal of the project is to redefine the tracking accuracy down to half the length of a football.

Read more about the tracking system being developed using low-frequency magnetic fields that could change the future of professional football games.