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Fighter-jet tech adapted to transport competitive horses in peak condition

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Technology used to maintain atmospheric conditions in fighter jet cockpits is to be used to transport competitive horses.

As with humans, horses are affected by travel, so engineers at BAE Systems were asked to provide solutions that would help ensure the animals arrive at competitions in peak states of health and fitness.

BAE Systems has adapted the sensor technologies used by fighter pilots to manage cockpit conditions and air quality, normally found in Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

The Equus-Sense system developed for the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) integrates a series of sensors appropriate to equestrian transport into a complete monitoring unit.

This covers parameters including sound, temperature, vibration, humidity, dust levels and oxygen, allowing trainers and athletes to monitor the environmental conditions for horses travelling to international events.

In combat aircraft, these sensors are used to provide essential performance assistance to defence equipment and pilots.

“When it comes to elite sport, marginal gains can help leverage a real competitive advantage - and that preparation begins before competitors reach their competition,” said Henry White, UK Sport partnership lead at BAE Systems.

“We develop aircraft and equipment monitoring technology which helps ensure our fighter pilots are as comfortable as possible to enable them to realise their incredible skills, and there is no reason why horses cannot benefit from this.

“Applying such technology to horse transportation had its challenges, but our expert engineers have developed such a system allowing the equestrian competitors to benefit and help gain an advantage.”

BAE said that the technology could prove useful to other sporting organisations in future.

“This has been a valuable project that has improved elite horse transport,” said John McEwen, director of equine sports science and medicine for the BEF’s world class programme.

“This is an area that can have a major performance effect and we are grateful to BAE Systems for their scientific support.”

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