For Homologators (Technical Controllers)
RTK GPS has been used by the farming and construction industries for many years but the hardware was very expensive. When the price of RTK capable receivers started coming down late in 2018, the Sure-Path system actually started off as a project to adapt the technology to be used as an alternative method of surveying waterski slalom and jump courses.
Once the main "anchor" points of the course have been surveyed (entrance and exit gates for slalom; STs and MTs/ETs for jump), Sure-Path displays the "distances from ideal" (axial and longitudinal) for each buoy as it is surveyed, thus allowing the homologator to carry out adjustments whilst still out on the lake. This feature is also enormously useful when setting out from scratch, a course that uses fixed weights.
In the example screen shown, the left hand exit gate buoy (G4) is 1.0cm wide, (a positive value means it is to the right of ideal when looking down the direction of the course, a negative value is to the left) and 3.3cm downstream of its ideal position. If a buoy is nominally out of tolerance, the font colour changes to red on a yellow background. In the case of the slalom gate buoys (G1 to G4), the axial width is also displayed lower left.
Once entrance and exit gates have been marked, the course length is displayed as a quick check that mapping has been done correctly. The gate axial widths should also be compared with the formal survey (see also Guidelines for Tournament).
Note that because many position tolerances are defined in terms of distances relative to multiple other buoys in the course (eg ski buoys have to conform to diagonal, axial and longitudinal distances), whether a buoy is in tolerance depends on the actual position of other related buoys and therefore Sure-Path's indication of in/out tolerance is a first guide. Even if Sure-Path is the only system used to collect survey data, for tournament, the data should still be fully analysed by approved homologation software such as Emmanuel Lion's Waterski Homologation.
To facilitate transferring data from Sure-Path to 3rd party software, we provide a small Windows utility which can receive the data wirelessly from the phone and then save it either in the Lion native format or in CSV format. The former can be opened directly by the Lion software and the latter can either be opened directly by other 3rd party software or can be opened with MS Excel and copy & pasted from there. More details here...