Flights of fancy: Horses benefit from jet fighter tech

POSTED ON  |  27-01-2019

Shipping horses
Sensor technology normally used to manage cockpit conditions for fighter pilots has been adapted to improve conditions for sport horses being flown to competitions around the world. Like human athletes, the performance of horses flying to international competitions can be adversely affected by the symptoms of long haul air travel.

Engineers at BAE Systems have developed Equus-Sense, a bespoke environmental monitoring unit for the British Equestrian Federation (BEF). The project is part of BAE Systems’ ongoing technology partnership with UK Sport and will support the teams transporting horses to major events throughout the season.

Equus-Sense builds upon advanced sensor systems such as those that monitor cockpit conditions and air quality found in Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft for the fighter pilots. Novel integration techniques and additional sensors appropriate to equestrian transport were introduced to provide a complete monitoring unit for the horses. The system covers elements including sound, temperature, vibration, humidity, dust levels and oxygen, allowing trainers and athletes to monitor the environmental conditions for horses travelling to international events.

Equus-Sense can be housed in any travelling environment for horses, and will sense and log environmental conditions during transit. It allows trainers to evaluate the individual conditions of horses upon arrival at competitions to make informed decisions on their readiness to compete. In time the technology could be applied to other sporting organisations outside the BEF to monitor transportation and welfare of other horses travelling to competitions worldwide.

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