Embedded Piezoelectric Array for Measuring Relative Distributed Forces on Snow Skis

Andres Rico

Rico, Andres, et al. "Embedded Piezoelectric Array for Measuring Relative Distributed Forces on Snow Skis." Intelligent Computing. Springer, Cham, 2021. 641-648.


Distributed forces on a surface can reveal information about the interaction between an object and its surrounding environment. Sensors can be embedded in sporting equipment to measure the response of the apparatus to forces generated by an athlete. In the case of snow skis, these measurements can be used for purposes of enhancing product development and athlete performance, as well as for analyzing different terrains and snow conditions. This paper describes a piezoelectric system that converts distributed mechanical strains into electrical signals, and records them. This low-cost, low-tech system can be embedded on the top side of most snow ski designs in a minimally invasive manner. Descriptions of the circuit design for the prototype sensor, as well as details about its manufacturing process, are provided. A validation procedure is demonstrated along with sample data presented as a frequency spectrogram. These tests confirmed the proper functioning of the electrical and mechanical design. We conclude that the device could potentially be used to record information that yields insights into performance of materials, user actions, and external conditions about the environment in which the ski is being used.

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