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© ADI Components | November 29, 2011

ADI's MEMS accelerometers help archers

Analog Devices’ ADXL346 digital output MEMS accelerometer chosen by Full Flight Technology to measure arrow flight and target-impact data.
Analog Devices, Inc (ADI) is providing its iMEMS technology to a first-of-its kind measurement system used in high-precision archery. ADI’s ADXL346 3-axis digital MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) accelerometer was selected by Full Flight Technology for use in the company’s flagship Velocitip Ballistic System, which is the first ever to use an arrow-mounted device to provide detailed information about arrow speed, flight dynamics and bow performance. Designed for archery equipment manufacturers, sportsmen and competitive archers, the Velocitip Ballistic System includes a field point (arrow tip), battery pack, docking station, USB cable and PC software. The system employs the ADXL346 to continuously measure arrow drag in flight to provide downrange performance data.
© Full Flight Technology
The ability to measure arrow drag means that, unlike a ballistic chronograph, the system does not require down-range equipment to measure arrow performance at target impact. The archer simply threads the arrow tip to the arrow in a conventional manner and shoots at the target. “The functionality combined with a simple user interface make the Velocitip System a great tool for anyone testing archery equipment performance,” said Nick Meinert, engineering and technical support, Victory Archery, which designs and manufactures carbon-fiber arrows. “Because so much useful information is precisely recorded for each shot, we find that the Velocitip System enables us to more quickly and easily identify those factors most important to improving arrow design and downrange performance.” “This is without a doubt the most sophisticated microelectronics technology ever applied to the field of archery,” said Bob Donahoe, founder of Full Flight Technology. “ADI’s ADXL346 accelerometer is an essential enabling technology for our Velocitip Ballistic System thanks to its ability to survive repeated hi-g shock, its small package, and the perfect combination of precision measurement, low power, rugged construction and light weight.” With today’s modern archery equipment, an arrow experiences over 1'000g at launch and over 4'000g at impact, for each shot. Each tip must be able to survive for a minimum of 100 shots. During product development, the ADXL346 was housed in an arrow tip and successfully tested for 100 cycles at 5'000g. The ADXL346 MEMS accelerometer is housed in a 9-mm-diameter aluminum arrow tip and weighs less than 6.5 grams. Coin cell batteries power the arrow tip for a minimum of 100 shots. Providing high 13-bit resolution measurement at up to ±16g, the ADXL346 also features an integrated memory-management system with a 32-level FIFO (first-in, first-out) buffer to store ballistics data.
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