“As meteorologists, we’ve always known that weather has a huge impact on sports. Leveraging the wind and weather data obtained from Anemoment we can now tell you exactly what’s going on with each ball.”
Wind flow inside stadiums is very complex and often very different from what the flags show on top of the stadium. Additionally, what’s been missing from all of the baseball trajectory analysis previously produced is vertical wind information, which is key to meteorologists. There is a lot of vertical wind inside stadiums, which has a significant impact on the flight of the ball over its entire trajectory. Prevailing winds blow over a stadium in one direction, but the winds at field level can be doing the exact opposite, with a lot going on in between. WAM models the wind field down to each square foot over the entire area where a ball could fly. The resulting data in computed into the company’s 3D Trajectory model with increments of 0.001 second.
Weather Applied Metrics (WAM), a leader in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and 3D modeling, relies on the Anemoment Wireless Mesh Network to wirelessly deliver real-time wind, temperature, relative humidity, and air pressure in three-dimensions—essential data used by Weather Applied Metrics to provide real-time weather data and its effect on sports, specifically the effects of weather on a ball during its entire trajectory. The TriSonica Mini Wind & Weather Sensor provides complete wind statistics for all three dimensions of airflow. Its open path design provides the least possible distortion of the wind field, while its four measurements paths provide a redundant measurement for added accuracy. This accuracy is essential for WAM’s 3D modeling; yet it was the Mesh Network’s wireless 900 MHz connectivity that proved to be a game-breaker for Farley.
“Radio transmission of data in an actual stadium circumstance has been problematic for us in the past,” Farley notes. “The Anemoment Wireless Mesh Network is 32-times stronger than what we were previously using and has proven to be very effective for us. What we were using would fall out when the stadiums would fill up. That has not been an issue since we integrated Anemoment into our solution.”
How much can weather impact the flight of a ball? A headwind combined with a downdraft can shorten a fly ball hit to the wall by as much as 60 feet. A tail wind combined with an updraft can lengthen it by as much as 42 feet.
Since baseballs absorb moisture from the air (they are hygroscopic), the difference in distance between very dry air and very wet air is roughly 50 feet. That’s because a wet ball is slightly heavier and spongier, so it doesn’t come off the bat as fast. On a hotter day the air is less dense and so a ball can travel as much as 30 feet farther, compared to a cold day. Air pressure affects air density directly. So, balls hit at high altitude travel considerably farther.
With the TriSonica Mini, now you can truly “Know the Wind” and its effects a ball’s trajectory.
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