Case Studies

Red Bull Air Race Search for Perfection

Red Bull Air Race required a GNSS/INS to drive their augmented reality solution know as the Ghost Plane as well as provide highly accurate data for judging. The VN-300 rose to the challenged and enabled Red Bull Air Race to achieve a world first.

Aerial Telemetry, VN-300

Red Bull Air Race

Created in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship features the world’s best race pilots in a pure motorsport competition that combines speed, precision and skill. Using nimble and lightweight racing planes, pilots hit speeds of 370 km/h (230 mph) while enduring forces of up to 12 g as they navigate a low-level slalom track marked by 25-meter-high, air-filled pylons (Air Gates). Pilots incur time penalties for hitting pylons, incorrectly passing through the Air Gates or exceeding 10 g for more than 0.6 seconds, among several other competition constraints.

Pilots race one at a time and mere fractions of a second separate field, so it can be difficult for viewers to compare the performance of each pilot. With the help of its suppliers Red Bull Air Race invented a completely unique augmented reality (AR) solution known as the Ghost Plane, which displays in real-time the trajectory of prior pilots’ runs for real-time comparison. The Ghost Plane is driven by onboard telemetry data gathered during flight. In order for a pilot’s run to be accurately represented by the Ghost Plane, the onboard telemetry system has to accurately track position, velocity and attitude (yaw, pitch and roll) through high-dynamic maneuvers and in challenging environmental conditions.