Friday, May 16, 2008

Closest Finish

For 2008, I upgraded the entire Pit Crew Challenge timing system from 1/100 resolution to 1/1000 resolution. The teams are so evenly matched....they use the same equipment, they train the same way, they use the same coaches; like any NASCAR race out on the track, the PCC is extremely close competition.

The upgrade came in handy. In the Skills competition, the Top 10 in each discipline were covered by about 1.5 seconds.

Here's the Lynx image of the closest finish - 2 vs 31. Decided by 0.052 seconds.


The Big Guy said...

That's a pretty cool image...
(Even from just an abstract photography standpoint...)
One of these days you'll have to explain it to me using Jay-dummy terms.


The Mighty Skunk said...

I don't think there's ONE Hooters waitress in the US who would classify The Big Guy as a "dummy".

Anyhow, digital photofinish is a bit of an abstract concept. Unlike a normal digital camera, it renders a photo of time, not space. The camera captures an image 2 pixels wide, up to 10,000 times per second, and adds the resulting 2 columns to a photo which can be hours or days long. The resulting image is blank if nothing is moving through the camera's field of vision.

In this case, because the event was indoors (moderate light) and the cars were moving so slowly (pushed by the pit crews) we slowed the sampling rate way down, to about 500 or 600 time-slices per second.

The photos look distorted when objects move through the finish field vertically, hence the crewmembers' feet and hands look like flippers. In cycling, the distortion makes the wheel spokes look asymtotical.

The 2 was moving way faster than the 31 at the finish, hence the image of the 31 is much longer.