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News

Specialised Imaging Ltd - Trajectory Tracker


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Specialised Imaging Ltd
: 16 December, 2008  (New Product)
The Trajectory Tracker from Specialised Imaging Ltd. (www.specialised-imaging.com) is a next generation video projectile tracking system offering unmatched performance and ease of deployment.
The Trajectory Tracker provides consistent and accurate tracking of projectiles in flight using a computer controlled triggered rotating mirror positioned in front of a high-speed digital video camera. In order to fully evaluate failure modes of projectiles, it is often necessary to observe their performance over a significant proportion of the trajectory. The Trajectory Tracker allows observations to be made of the behaviour of projectiles in flight for greater than 100 metres with a tracking accuracy of better than 0.2 degrees over its full scan. This slow motion record of a projectile in flight allows accurate diagnosis of events such as fin deployment, motor burn time, pitch, yaw and spin rate. The Trajectory Tracker has been developed such that it can accurately handle scan rates from 0.1 to 100. This allows much greater flexibility in positioning the system and tracking projectiles over long distances. Due to obstacles or space constraints it is often not possible to position a video projectile tracking system at the required standoff distance. To overcome this problem the Trajectory Tracker can be rotated with respect to the line-of-fire. In this skewed geometry configuration the Trajectory Tracker can be used to track fast moving projectiles at speeds of up to 1000 m/s with only a 10 m standoff and analyse projectiles fired at varying elevation angles.

Using a pair of Trajectory Tracker systems, with flight prediction algorithms, new in-flight correction and high-speed video cameras - engineers are now also able to capture a sequence of images along an objects flight path and also obtain accurate 3D measurements from those sequences. The Trajectory Tracker, with its new in-flight correction, can be used to accurately track the object along a large portion of the flight path. This allows a very tight field of view which results in higher accuracy for the 3D analysis. The 3D analysis software allows for the calibration of the system and relating this to the image data streams from the high-speed video camera, produces simultaneous correlated video & measurement data. Proof of principle tests carried out by customers in the USA and Europe have shown that the reduction in time to obtain accurate 3D (pitch & yaw) measurements is helping to accelerate the process of characterising the flight behaviour of fast moving objects.

The Trajectory Tracker system consists of a tracking head, mirror control unit, and ruggedised laptop control computer. The standard system offers ease of deployment on a sturdy, fully adjustable mount, and includes trigger units, cabling and software for control of both tracking system and camera. Video sequences are archived in industry standard formats. Using advanced control and analysis software the system offers multiple operating modes, including user defined profiles, enabling it to track and analyse large and medium calibre projectiles as well as other objects such as rockets, Rocket assisted projectiles, Rocket sledges and many forms of smart weaponry. The Trajectory Tracker can be used for both horizontal and elevated projectile firings.
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