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Sports Applications Technology

Autodesk to Provide Wind Simulation Technology for the Super Bowl

January 31, 2014


The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world; with an estimated viewership of 1 billion people. But in the United States nothing even comes close when it comes to a televised event. The hype surrounding the Super Bowl is responsible for making it the most-watched television programming year in and year out. Businesses around the world want to participate in this event in one form or another to make their product known to the millions of viewers. If paying more than $4 million for a 30 second spot during the broadcast is not feasible, there are other ways a company can highlight their product or services. Autodesk (News - Alert) and Fox Sports are teaming up to show the unpredictable wind patterns at MetLife Stadium during Super Bowl XLVIII using simulation technology.

The MetLife Stadium is notorious for the erratic wind conditions that take place during the winter. In order to give its viewers the exact wind conditions and how it might affect the game, Fox is introducing a technology it calls FOX WEATHER TRAX. This will allow viewers to see dynamic in stadium airflow patterns for the first time ever on live television.

Autodesk has simulation technology that is used by many industries across many different sectors. Fox wanted to know if was possible to calculate the weather conditions inside of MetLife Stadium with visual representations of wind direction while the game is taking place. Until this technology was implemented, everyone relied on the flags on top of the goal post to determine wind direction. With this new technology quarterbacks and kickers will be able to access a more reliable source before throwing the ball or kicking a field goal.

"Wind is obviously an invisible factor that can directly affect the outcome of a game. Since the wind has a notorious reputation in the New Jersey Meadowlands, and given the magnitude of the game, we looked for and found a great tool to depict this phenomenon in excellent detail which should help the more than 100 million viewers actually 'see the wind," said Zac Fields, Vice President, Graphics & Technology, FOX Sports, who is working directly with the Autodesk team on the project.

With today's simulation technology anyone creating a new product can test different parameters to determine if the design has any flaws on a computer. This provides an invaluable tool for correcting any flaws as well as saving a considerable amount of money before a prototype is built.

Flow Design simulates virtual airflow and wind tunnel testing around automobiles, buildings, consumer products, outdoor products or any virtual structure. The application provides designers valuable insight early in the development process with fast feedback and intuitive controls. It provides simulation for moldflow, CFD, mechanical, composite analysis, composite design, DFM as well as robotic structural analysis.

“When FOX Sports sought to take this year’s Super Bowl viewing experience to the next level, Autodesk was more than ready to answer the call. People use our simulation software every day to understand and predict outcomes in the world around them. Whether it’s testing how a mobile phone operates in extreme temperatures or the air flow in an office building, our simulation tools help people make better decisions and produce winning outcomes,” said Buzz Kross, Autodesk senior vice president. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker