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3 May 2012 Wide area persistent surveillance with no gimbal
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Modern aerial video has depended on high quality gimbals. The benefits of these gimbals include motion correction, navigational information, and a standardized mounting interface for sensors to the platform. The downside to the gimbal is the weight, power, and cost of the system, as well as the potential for mechanical failure. These negative factors are increasingly significant as medium sized and small unmanned aircraft proliferate. Luckily, in many cases, it is possible to fly without a gimbal. With the advent of large format video systems, we can achieve high quality video in the visible domain with un-gimbaled video. The massive field of view and high resolution given by these new systems provides a large amount of data redundancy, and it is possible to use this redundancy to improve algorithmic stabilization, to overcome aircraft motion, and to sharpen geolocation estimates. We describe an example system that flies without a gimbal and detail the algorithms that facilitate the high quality of the video. We present actual imagery from a system with no gimbal with relevant data to evaluate its performance, and we discuss the tradeoffs involved in system design with and without a gimbal.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Geoffrey Egnal "Wide area persistent surveillance with no gimbal", Proc. SPIE 8405, Defense Transformation and Net-Centric Systems 2012, 84050J (3 May 2012);


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