Held for the first time this year, Ride London is a series of cycling events on closed roads around London and Surrey which welcomes both amateur cyclists and professionals. It concludes with a one-day cycling road-race, following the 2012 Olympic route, as part of the UCI Europe Tour. The festival will be held annually as part of the legacy of the London Olympics 2012.
Broadcast RF were responsible for providing all the RF facilities for the live TV coverage which included HD camera pictures from four motorbikes that followed the cyclists throughout the race, one Cineflex helicopter camera plus one start and two finish line wireless camera systems. Pictures from all of the race coverage mobile RF cameras (motorbikes and helicopter) were transmitted up to a fixed wing aircraft relay platform circling over the route at an altitude of 25,000 feet and linked back down to the main OB compound opposite Buckingham Palace where the race was concluded. The race started at the Olympic Park and wounds its way through the city, then out to circle Leith Hill in Surrey. After three laps of this heavily tree lined section of the route, the race headed back towards London via Box Hill for the finish on The Mall.
Other than a few ground cameras at the Start and Finish OB’s, the whole 250km race coverage relied on Broadcast RFs engineering expertise to provide consistent quality pictures from the mobile cameras, there were no other cameras out on the course. Duplex talkback, from the Director at the Finish OB, was also relayed via the plane, so that the cameramen, riders and pilots had clear instructions on who to follow and where to be. A relay of the Race Radio was also provided in the aircraft. This allowed the Race organisers to liaise with their on-course crew during the event. GPS telemetry data was sent from each mobile source and displayed on bespoke mapping systems in the plane and at the OB making it possible to monitor the location of the bikes and helicopter in relation to the plane, as well as their positions on the course.
This mapping is also used as an aid the Production as it provides the TV Production team with the precise location of their mobile cameras on the course. The GPS data was also used to steer tracking antennas, deployed on the plane and at the main OB receive site, ensuring the reliability of the links via the plane. Deep Time Interleaving technology was employed to counteract the signal disturbances that would have otherwise occurred through the heavily tree-lined sections of the course. This enabled virtually faultless pictures to be seen throughout these otherwise impossible sections. From start to finish the 6 hour event was covered seamlessly thanks to the flying duration of the chosen fixed wing aircraft and the precision planning and engineering by the Broadcast RF team.
You can watch the full ‘Ride London – How It Happened video on our YouTube Channel.