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CERN and ESA. Their basic research programs have been uncovering new insights into matter, energy and the universe for many decades and have spun off no small number of noteworthy new products along the way. These two big names in European research, who recently signed a wide-ranging cooperation agreement on research and technology development, are staging their first-ever joint pavilion at HANNOVER MESSE. Located at the Research & Technology show in Hall 2, the pavilion features CERN and ESA plus around 20 of their spin-off companies.

The highlights at the pavilion include transport drones which, thanks to space-industry positioning technology, now have the centimeter accuracy required for indoor applications. The technology that makes this possible – the Kinexon One tracking system developed by Munich-based Kinexon GmbH – also has some pretty amazing sporting applications. Now, for the very first time, footballers can wear the same tiny sensor cells that are used to track the transport drones. Using a cloud-based app on a tablet or smartphone, their coaches can then draw on centimeter-accurate 3D tracking and motion monitoring data to measure their performance, ball contacts, and pass stats, etc. The technology is in fact already so well developed and user-friendly that it is not the exclusive preserve of the Ronaldos and Messis of this world; ambitious amateur players, too, can easily use it to help them pass into space. Funny where pure science ends up sometimes.

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