The cinetheodolite system used at the Test Range is an electro-optical measurement system designed to provide positional and event data. It records video and angles in two axis in real time. This data is analysed off-line to provide the client with accurate trajectory data as required. The cinetheodolite, within its range limitations, is the most accurate offline position measurement device available on the Test Range. There are four mobile Skytrack units and two mobile Askania units incorporating:
- 1.5m and 3m switchable focal length telescopes
- High speed video camera (up to 300 fps dependent on light conditions)
- Infrared camera with switchable lens system up to 150 fps
- Off-line trajectory accuracy of 30 micro radians
- 1000mm main lens with PAL1 video camera
- Zoom lens for acquisition
- Modified Askania – “man off the mount”
Measurement accuracies, resolution capabilities and tracking quality are determined, amongst others, by the deployment geometry of the units, total number of operating cinetheodolite units, range to the event, weather conditions (especially visibility and contrast) and stability of the site.
The Test Range has one mobile track mount which is used as optical tracking platform for high resolution in-flight photographic documentation, and in conjunction with the cinetheodolites’ for trajectography. It can carry telescopes of up to 10 metre focal length with automatic tracking. The platform can move in two axis, azimuth and elevation. On the platform it has 5 stations on which an array of video and infrared sensors, including client specific sensors, can be fitted to track and monitor a flying object. In standard configuration the track mount carries the following sensors: a synchronised analogue video camera behind a switchable 1/ 2.5/ 5m lens, a high speed monochrome digital camera behind a switchable 1.5/ 5m lens and an infrared camera with 1.2 degree optics. All the sensors are synchronised to the IRIG time base producing high accuracy data for trajectory measurement.
High Speed Video Cameras
A series of high speed video cameras are available to carry out launch, in-flight and impact recording (photographic documentation). These cameras incorporate:
- Video documentation 50 to 1 000 fps with time synchronization
- Frame rates 50 to 120 000 without time synchronization
- Synchronised with Range Time Base
- Video editing suite capable of importing video from DVCPRO, VHS, Firewire and DVD and all other standard PC generated multimedia formats. The output format can be the same as any of the above input sources.