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By Rich Handley

STATSports Selects Taoglas to Monitor Sports Performance

Taoglas, a provider of automotive and Internet of Things antenna products, has announced that STATSports has selected Taoglas to provide antenna solutions for its new Apex line of GPS-based sports performance monitors.

STATSports provides GPS player-tracking and -analysis solutions for some of the world's largest sports franchises. Teams in the English Premier League, La Liga, the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and other professional sports leagues use STATSports' performance trackers to gather and analyze real-time player and team data during training and games. This helps them to improve performance and strategy, as well reduce injuries.

The company's Apex system consists of the Apex Pod, Apex Software and Apex Live Streaming. STATSports evaluated several GPS antenna options before selecting Irish company Taoglas. The AGGBP.25B, which measures 25 millimeters by 25 millimeters, is a two-stage 28 dB active GPS patch antenna module that provides positional accuracy in a small form factor. According to the company, it is suitable for a performance-monitoring solution like Apex, which embeds the antenna in a fist-sized device called the Apex Pod, in or under a player's jerseys.

"A wearable device with accurate GPS location measurement is of paramount importance to monitor player performance, and the Taoglas antenna is a key component delivering this," said Arthur McMahon, STATSports' CTO, in a prepared statement. "We have found the Taoglas antenna gives us the best performance in GPS reception in the demanding environments of elite player performance analysis. The accuracy, reliability and robustness of their antenna in our harsh operating environments were key factors in choosing Taoglas."

The Apex utilizes multiple channels and synchronized mesh networking to deliver data streams from all players on the field to the Apex Software for analysis. The Apex system provides GPS speed and positional data, heart rate variability, digital compass, gyroscopic and accelerometer data. It transmits more than half a million numbers every minute during training and games, for a squad of more than 30 players.

Taoglas was able to help STATSports deliver location accuracy within 1 meter. However, the company reports, with that many antennas and transmissions in close proximity to one another, interference can become an issue. Taoglas' solution includes a front-end SAW filter in front of the two-stage LNA to reduce out-of-band noise, such as signals from nearby cellular transceivers.

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