Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Obtaining 3D Visualization of Ballistic Objects in Flight

The Trajectory tracker
The Trajectory tracker, combined with a high-speed camera and customized 3D analysis software, accurately tracks an object along a large portion of its flight path, allowing a tight field of view that results in exceptional 3D analysis.

Specialised Imaging Ltd. (Tring, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom)

The Imaging Challenge

Traditional approaches using sophisticated Doppler techniques and on-board telemetry have given some useful analytical data for target applications in ballistics trajectory, advance ammunition and space re-entry vehicle development. However, they do not allow the visualization of the processes. The ability to correlate analytical and visual data over a significant part of the objectís flight will provide engineers with an invaluable tool. The challenges were to use high-speed video to capture a sequence of images along the objectís flight path and to obtain accurate 3D measurements from the sequences.

The Solution

The solution was to deploy Specialised Imaging Trajectory Tracker and customized 3D analysis software. The Trajectory Tracker, with its integrated state-of-the-art flight prediction algorithm, is 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 combines it with the video data streams to produce simultaneous video and measurement data.

The Tools Used

  • Specialised Imaging Trajectory tracker (SITT-M01)
  • High speed video camera
  • 3D Analysis program

The Difference it Made

Successful proof of principle tests were performed at U.S. Army Redstone Test Centre at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Ala.; the U.S. Army ATC at Aberdeen Md., and ISL in France. This technology has allowed these institutes the ability, for the first time, to correlate video data with 3D visualisation and measurement (e.g. pitch and yaw). The speed in obtaining accurate 3D measurements helps to reduce the timescale in characterising ballistics behaviour of objects in flight.

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