The tech of the 2019 Tour de France
July 26, 2019 9:06 PM Subscribe
Flying Squirrels? - Are Technica looks at the intense technological and technical flight skills required to provide the iconic travel-guide-style coverage of today's Tour de France.
An AS350 serves as a relay helicopter, equipped with VHF antennas that receive and transmit live feeds from the AS355s, as well as ground cameras on motorcycles.Bonus: 2019 is the first year to have live footage broadcast directly from cameras mounted on racers' bicycles. [Scroll down, no hard link to the subsection]
Circling at 2,000 feet (600m), the relay helo takes camera feeds and sends them to a fixed-wing aircraft flying higher at 10,000 to 25,000 feet (3,000-7,600m), depending on weather. The airplane sends the combined feeds back down to two receive trucks located along the race course.
The trucks act like signal repeaters, the first sending video to a satellite that sends it back to the second truck further along the course, which finally forwards the signal to the town where the finish line is located.
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