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Proceedings Paper

The Automatic Laser Tracker
Author(s): B. P. Fitzgerald
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Paper Abstract

A key element in every aircraft or missile testing program is photographic coverage of the test vehicle in motion. The traditional method of photographing such tests is to have an operator steer his camera manually while trying to keep the target in his field-of-view. Manual tracking, however, has certain inherent limitations, the chief one being the relatively slow response time of the operator. Other indeterminate factors such as his alertness and experience degrade the accuracy of the coverage still further. The solution, of course, is to replace the operator by some automatic target tracking scheme. The types of automatic trackers heretofore available, radar, infrared, or television, bring along a whole new set of problems such as ground clutter, target contrast and tracking resolution. All these difficulties can be overcome by a laser tracking system following a cooperative target. Since the laser tracker is im-pervious to anything except the reflection of its own laser beam, it follows the target automatically with excellent accuracy and resolution.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1967
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0011, Laser Range Instrumentation, (1 July 1967); doi: 10.1117/12.946723
Show Author Affiliations
B. P. Fitzgerald, Sylvania Electric Products Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0011:
Laser Range Instrumentation
William C. Russell, Editor(s)

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