A fast, high resolution and wide area airborne gimbal imaging system.
An accurate, efficient, and versatile gimballed imaging system is developed to collect fast, high-resolution, and immediately visualizable geospatial information over a wide area. Aboard a Cessna 182, NGIT’s gimballed imaging accomplishes a 2-mile swathwidth with a 10cm resolution per flypass; while this used to take ten flipasses of fixed-Nadir-imaging. Traditional gimballed systems, such as L3-WESCAM turrets, have sophisticated mechanics/electronics and inflexibility to host sensors. NGIT’s gimballed imaging embodiments feature simplified mechanism, which are easily adaptable to host advanced sensors and optics for various fixed-/rotor-wing, airship, orbit platform operations. For example, a pair of latest mid-format cameras, a Falcon4 86MP CMOS and an SVS-Vistec 47MP CCD, attached with 80mm and 210mm lenses respectively, have been adapted onto a NGIT’s gimballed embodiment. NGIT’s gimballed imaging incorporates precise and agile roll, pitch, yaw actuations to steer its payload imaging at a sub-pixel angular pointing accuracy even using super-telephotos. The agile-and-precise-imaging-beam-angular-steering efficiently exploits fast frame resources of modern sensors, e.g. making Falcon4 2.7GB/s throughput sensing much wider. This unprecedent performance impacts modern remote sensing applications, including rapid mapping, ISR, change detection, persistent surveillance, homeland security, emergence response, search-and-rescue, demanded by decisionmakers, policymakers, and military/civilian agencies.