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The nke bus

Smoothing wind data

On most boats the wind sensor is situated on the mast head. The wind is measured at that point, subject to roll and pitch being added to the stressed movements of the mast itself. These movements generate erratic data called "noise" affecting the measured data.


Let's consider a boat at anchor in calm conditions. There is no wind at all, but a 1 meter swell makes the boat move on her mooring line. The mast head moves in the air and the sensor measures the air flow. Given that a swell for 1 meter high waves passes in about 7 seconds, our boat will have been up and down in that period. The mast head measures an air flow coming from the bow and then another one coming from the aft while the real wind speed is 0.


The standard method consists of calculating an average value over the appropriate period. This method gives an acceptable result to determine the apparent wind. The advanced method includes the boat's movement. Knowing the mast head height, the movement of the sensor in the air is determined allowing the data to be adjusted for the "noise". An Inertial Measurement Unit is required to achieve this. The synchronisation of the data from the IMU and the wind sensor is done by a processor which can display wind data adjusted for the noise in real time. The data is refreshed in milliseconds instead of a few seconds with the standard averaging method.

Why a few milliseconds do count?

It may be difficult to see the value in spending more money just to gain a few seconds but it is not so much in relation to the cost of a full system including the right sensors and processors. When you consider that all tactical decisions you make and performance decisions your pilot makes are based on clean,real time true wind data, it makes a huge difference and is really worth it!The first step is the measurement of apparent wind, boat speed and heading. This means 3 sensors and 6 data values. Should these values require filtering and damping to be good enough for processing, any sudden directional shifts will result in poor wind data for some time until the system is able to recover clean data. Our method includes boat movements to solve this problem.You use your five senses when you steer your boat. Your auto-pilot is processing data coming from the sensors. Its performance is linked to the data rate: the faster the better.

Key words: IMU, instrument, system, 3D Sensor, 3D Fusion, Processor HR, Processor Regatta, data damping, data noise, data filtering, auto-pilot, tactician, sail performance, mast head unit, boat speed, wind shift

Reduction of the noise for wind speed measurement

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Reactivity of the true wind angle with the Processor Regatta