Trajectory Tracker with in-flight correction breaks new ground in flight follower technology

The Trajectory Tracker from Specialised Imaging Ltd. is a next generation video projectile tracking system offering unmatched performance and ease of deployment.

To fully understand the behaviour of projectiles, it is often desirable to observe the flight as close to the launch point as possible, to do this most systems require an accurate estimate of projectile velocity. In the past, with experimental or failing projectiles where the velocity is unpredictable, it has been necessary to use a wide field-of-view or accept that the projectile will be lost from view after only a few metres. Using a second detector, a few metres down-range, allows the Trajectory Tracker system to measure the actual velocity of the projectile and use this information to correct the scan speed and position to accurately track the projectile. A third detector can be used further down-range to provide additional correction. The development of real-time ‘in-flight’ correction for the first time delivers no compromise tracking of projectiles.

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.