To give fans an idea of how tough the conditions will be on the field for this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday, FOX Sports has partnered with Autodesk to use simulation software to calculate possibly adverse weather conditions–specifically wind–inside MetLife Stadium during the big game. The New Jersey Meadowlands, home of MetLife Stadium, has long been know for its unpredictable, swirling winter winds. Traditionally fans have relied on goal-post flags to gauge the direction and speed of the wind during critical moments.
Simulation technology will let at-home fans “see the wind”
Simulation software from Autodesk will enable fans watching from home to see actual, precise weather conditions inside the stadium. Visual representations of wind direction via the wind simulation results will be superimposed by FOX Sports over the actual broadcasted view. The technology, dubbed FOX WEATHER TRAX for the game, will illustrate dynamic in-stadium dynamic airflow patterns using Autodesk Flow Design simulation software.
“Wind is obviously an invisible factor that can directly affect the outcome of a game,” said Zac Fields, vice president, Graphics & Technology, FOX Sports, who is working directly with the Autodesk team on the project. “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.'”
Simulation technology is regularly used by designers, architects and engineers to investigate “what-if” scenarios, explore new ideas and gain deeper insight into how an everyday product, a building or stadium behaves during day-to-day use.
This new and easy-to-use technology has radically improved the design process by allowing Autodesk customers to test and analyze designs digitally before physical production and perhaps best of all, the digital computation takes place unobtrusively behind the scenes – similar to spellcheck in a word processing application.
How it Works
For the first time ever, home viewers will have an insider’s view of the wind and airflow patterns at the stadium, but how exactly does it work?
Step 1 – A digital model of the stadium is constructed using 3D modeling software.
Step 2 – Simulation software interacts with the digital stadium model. The user alters wind speed and direction to suit the game day conditions and sees how the air flow patterns inside the stadium are affected.
Step 3 – The simulation graphics are then played out over a live camera to show the viewer the wind paths in relation to the field.
For more information on Autodesk’s line of simulation solutions, check out the company’s web site.