Accurate Modelling Ensures Precise Projectile Tracking

Specialised Imaging Ltd., the technological leader in ultra-high speed imaging, has announced a new development that extends the capabilities of the SI Trajectory Tracker to precisely tracking a projectile with unpredictable flight behaviour.

Tracking a fast moving projectile relies on modelling its behaviour as accurately as possible. This model may be based on radar data obtained from previous firings. If the projectile is consistent in its behaviour, then operating the SI Trajectory Tracker in Custom Profile mode will provide accurate tracking. Variations in projectile behaviour require real-time feedback during the flight time to allow tracking correction. With a non-powered projectile, operating the SI Trajectory Tracker with three triggers is sufficient to provide feedback on the velocity and drag. This information allows accurate tracking.

However with non-linear projectile behaviour, such as when a rocket motor is involved, tracking the flight trajectory is more complex and requires more feedback. An eight sensor set-up with the sensors correctly located provides a method of tracking the projectile in a way that has not been possible up to now.

To achieve this Specialised Imaging Ltd. has developed a Multiple Trigger Unit (MTU) for its SI Trajectory Tracker system. The new Accutrack MTU can handle up to 4 individual Trajectory Tracker modules each with 8 input triggers. The system has been designed to simplify setup. Sensors are positioned along the line of flight; distances between sensors are then entered into the software. The embedded on-board processor automatically calculates the angles to the sensors, position of the SI Trajectory Tracker scanning mirror, and then synchronises the mirror to the position of the projectile. Real-time tracking of projectiles, rocket sleds and unpredictable projectiles is now a reality.

The SI Trajectory Tracker is a next generation video tracking system offering high performance and ease of deployment on a sturdy, fully adjustable mount. The system provides consistent and accurate tracking of objects in flight using a computer controlled triggered rotating mirror positioned in front of a high-speed digital video camera.

In order to fully evaluate failure modes of high-speed objects, it is often necessary to observe their performance over a significant proportion of the trajectory. The SI Trajectory Tracker 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 degrees over its full scan. The resulting slow motion record of an object in flight allows accurate diagnosis of events such as fin deployment, motor burn time, pitch, yaw and spin rate.

Specialised Imaging Ltd. is a knowledgeable, dynamic company focused upon design, manufacture, service and supply of ultra high-speed imaging systems and components for industrial, military and scientific applications.
For further information on the latest innovations in ultra-high speed imaging please contact Specialised Imaging Ltd on telephone +44 (0) 1442 827 728 or email