Accurate 3D flight tracking

25th September 2018
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Accurate 3D flight tracking

The SI Tracker2 system from Specialised Imaging provides reports which have been used to precisely correlate high-speed video data with 3D visualisation and measurement information.  Traditionally for free flight, ballistic and rocket flight applications such as Earth re-entry space vehicle development and ballistic trajectory characterisation - engineers have had to use expensive Doppler radar equipment with complex software and on-board telemetry. 

Using a pair of SI Tracker 2 systems, with flight prediction algorithms, and high-speed video cameras - engineers are now able to capture a sequence of images along an objects flight path and also obtain accurate 3D measurements from those sequences.

Designed to house most modern high-speed video cameras, the compact, lightweight SI Tracker2 offers high performance, durability and ease of use. It provides consistent and accurate tracking of objects in flight using a computer-controlled triggered rotating mirror positioned in front of a high-speed video camera.  

To fully evaluate the failure modes of high-speed objects, it is often necessary to observe their flight performance over a significant proportion of the trajectory. The SI Tracker 2 allows observations to be made of in-flight behaviour of high-speed objects over more than 100 metres with a tracking accuracy of better than 0.2° over its full scan. The resulting slow-motion record of the test object in flight allows accurate diagnosis of ballistic events such as fin deployment and motor burn time as well as calculation of pitch, yaw and spin rate. 

Using multiple input triggers positioned down range enables real-time correction of scan speed and position, allowing the SI Tracker2 to even accurately track high-speed objects such as Earth re-entry space vehicles that exhibit unpredictable 3D flight behaviour.


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