Alpinestars have today announced details of their airbag technology, and that it has been in development undercover since 2003.
Currently in use on the track, it will be offered to the public next year once development is complete.
The firm's press release states:
“At present, Alpinestars plans to make the system available to its racers during the course of this season, before releasing a commercial system for track use during the latter part of 2011.
"Regarding a likely commercial price, Alpinestars anticipates that the Tech Air Race airbag system is likely to add in the region of €uro 2000.00 to the cost of a suit. A full street system is also in development, with a commercial launch expected in 2-3 years.
"The airbag is powered by a battery pack and is inflated using a nitrogen based gas mix.
"At present the system incorporates two bags covering the rider’s shoulders and collar bones, offering a trigger to full bag inflation time of less than 0.05 seconds which gives the rider in excess of 5 seconds of vital protection.
“Over the years of testing, a massive amount of real time data has been collected from which highly complex algorithms have been derived to manage the launch control process, with software optimized for both road and racetrack environments.
“A hugely significant step and one crucial for racing use, was Alpinestars’ development of the now patented dual charge system.
"This innovation offers the rider two airbag inflations without needing to reset or recharge the system, allowing them to re‐mount after a crash and continue riding, safe in the knowledge that the system will give them the same level of protection if they go down a second time.”
In other words, unlike the Dainese airbag system in development and used by Lorenzo and Rossi in MotoGP, you get two chances rather than just the one.
Full details in a future issue of MCN.