Rarely ever an innovation was fully accepted as fast as the new laser line (to beat line) in ski jumping. The so-called "to beat line", which is projected on the landing area and indicates the distance an athlete needs to jump to take the lead to the spectators in the stadium and the TV viewers, has soon become an audience favorite.
Here's what's written in the introduction of the system's description:
1. Brief description of the system
"To project the to-beat line on the landing area a modified show laser with an optical power of approx. 12 watt is used. The laser works with highly concentrated light with a wavelength of 512 nanometer, which is equivalent to green, the color that the human eye is most sensitive to.
The projector has dimensions of approx. 45 x 35 x 25 cm and weighs approx. 25 kilogram. It is installed on an aluminium traverse about two meters above the ground in a normally climatized room with the best possible view of the landing area of the ski jumpers. The laser is operated with open windows.
The activiation of the laser is done with a laptop in the same room. The laptop is connected to the T/S ski jumping system and uses the same data as the virtual to-beat line in the TV graphics.
The green laser line has a thickness of 20-30 cm on the snow and, with the corresponding calibration, it can be positioned on the hill with an accuracy of approx. 10 cm. The length of the line is adjustable."
FIS race director Walter Hofer had the idea of the line already last winter. During the summer it was then worked on the realization of a system for the competitions. After various tests, the new system was then ready for use right on time for the opening event of the 62nd 4-Hills-Tournament.
The line gained wide support at the opening competition of the 62nd 4-Hills-Tournament in Oberstdord will also be used at the final event in Bischofshofen.