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Proceedings Paper

Launch area theodolite system
Author(s): Lester M. Bradley; John P. Corriveau; Nan E. Tindal
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Paper Abstract

White Sands Missile Range has developed a Launch Area Theodolite (LAT) optical tracking system that provides improved Time-Space-Position-Information (TSPI) for the new class of hyper-velocity missiles being developed by the Army. The LAT system consists of a high- performance optical tracking mount equipped with an 8-12 micrometers Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor, a newly designed full-frame pin-registered 35-mm film camera, and an auto- focused 50-in. focal length lens. The FLIR has been integrated with the WSMR in-house developed statistical based automatic video tracker to yield a powerful system for the automatic tracking of missiles from a short standoff distance. The LAT has been designed to replace large fixed-camera arrays for test programs on short-range anti-tank missiles. New tracking techniques have been developed to deal with angular tracking rates that exceed one radian in both velocity and acceleration. Special techniques have been developed to shock the tracking mount at the missile launch to match the target motion. An adaptive servo control technique allows a Type III servo to be used to compensate for the high angular accelerations that are generated by the placement of the LAT mounts along the missile flight path. An automated mode selection adjustment is employed as the missile passes a point perpendicular to the tracking mount to compensate for the requirement to rapidly decelerate the tracking mount and keep the target in the field-of-view of the data camera. This paper covers the design concept for a network of eight LAT mounts, the techniques of automatic video tracking using a FLIR sensor, and the architecture of the servo control algorithms that have allowed the LAT system to produce results to a degree never before achieved at White Sands Missile Range.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1991
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 1482, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing V, (1 August 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.45684
Show Author Affiliations
Lester M. Bradley, U.S. Army/White Sands Missile Range (United States)
John P. Corriveau, U.S. Army/White Sands Missile Range (United States)
Nan E. Tindal, U.S. Army/White Sands Missile Range (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1482:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing V
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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