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SP300 Stabilized Platform for Ship-borne and Airborne Applications

DESCRIZIONE

“The SP300 is a modular, two axis, stabilized platform that accepts a wide range of sensor packages and is designed to operate in Naval or Helicopter Environments.”
sp300-01.jpg
INTRODUCTION
The SP300 is a high performance small and lightweight, actively stabilized turret. It consists of three subassemblies as follows:
  • Base
  • Yoke
  • Payload
The family tree is shown in Figure 1
sp300-00.jpg
The SP300 platform is two-axis, gyrostabilized to 100 μrad RMS, and designed for naval or rotary wing applications.
A non-stabilized variant applicable to coastal applications is also available upon request.
The platform can be rotated continually in azimuth and the operational elevation range is –30° to +85° (or -85° to +30° according to the way the platform is installed).
The entire SP300 system is powered by standard 28Vdc and is controlled via an industry standard RS422 serial link.

SP300 - PLATFORM OVERVIEW
The SP300 Platform is designed to operate in a naval and/or airborne environment. The platform provides high sightline slew rates and a full 360° azimuth rotation (continuous) together 125° of controlled elevation movement,
The sealed Payload subassembly protects the inner equipment from the harsh outside environment.
Overall, the SP300’s design provides excellent protection from rain, dust as well as sea environment without compromising the performance of the turret. Precision servo loops are provided to control the motion of the platform as directed by the operator.
The Platform utilizes a direct motor drive concept that minimizes coupling torques thus maximizing sightline stabilization performance.

sp300-02.jpg  sp300-03.jpg
sp300-04.jpg

SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
TEMPESTINI GROUP is pleased to provide this proposal for the Manufacture, Supply and Commissioning of an advanced two axis stabilised platform incorporating the latest generation uncooled IR camera.

The IR camera engine offered is based on a 384x288 pixel uncooled IR detector. The unrivalled resolution of this latest generation IR Engine enables TEMPESTINI GROUP to meet the specification for target detection, recognition and identification without utilising the more typical cooled detectors with the following advantages:
  • Smaller, lighter unit
  • Very high system reliability (no cooling engine)
  • Instant On – the imager will provide an image in under 3 seconds from power being applied at any ambient temperature.
  • Reduced maintenance overhead – the uncooled IR engine requires no routine maintenance
  • Reduced Cost of Ownership – with no complex and (relatively) unreliable cooling engine to service and repair, overall costs of ownership are substantially reduced.
  • Proven hardware – the platform proposed is already in service with the Taiwanese Navy
The fully self-contained system will comprise:
  • 2 Axis Stabilised Platform
  • Uncooled Thermal Imaging Camera
  • Visual Band CCD Camera
The system will be optimised for the following tasks:
  • Costal & Sea monitoring and patrol
  • Manual Mode Observation – with the operator steering the stabilised sightline of the platform.
The system will enable the detection and identification of people in the sea, small boats and other floating material and will enable bridge personnel to see the activity of inspection teams operating on board other vessels. The system will also support navigation in narrow channels.
When mounted on a fast craft, the system will provide 24 hour surveillance even at high speed.

1.1. The Equipment

The equipment supplied will comprise of the following items:
  • Platform – incorporating thermal imager and visual band CCD camera
  • Control Panel – providing control of the Platform and integrated sensors
  • High Resolution Monitor – a 17” TFT Monitor will be supplied
  • Digital Recorder – a state-of-the-art digital recorder will be provided.
These are further described in the following sections.

1.2. Platform
The Platform will be equipped with the following:
  • Elevation axis – capable of looking up/down by +70º to -20º
  • Azimuth Axis – capable of full 360º continuous rotation.
  • Thermal Imager – based on a 384x288 high performance uncooled IR sensor.
The resolution of this sensor is 44% greater than that requested by the RFQ.
  • Visual Band CCD Camera
The platform will be fully self-contained and will require no other support hardware other than that specified in the following sections.
It should be noted that the system will continue to operate even if one of the sensors fails.

1.3. Control Panel

The Control Panel will enable the operator to:
  • Slave the Platform to the bearings provided by the RADAR.
  • Manually control the platform in azimuth and elevation.
  • Control the Thermal Imaging Camera, including polarity, zoom and focus.
  • Control the visual band CCD camera, including polarity, zoom and focus.
  • Select the image to be displayed in real time on the Monitor (Thermal or Visual)
In addition, the Control Panel will inject graphics information onto the video as follows:
  • Aiming Data (azimuth and elevation)
  • Position (Latitude and Longitude) based on date supplied by the ship GPS.
  • Date & Time
All of the above video information, including injected graphics, will be available for recording on the Video Recorder Unit and (without graphics) to an external tracker.

1.4. Recorder

A commercially available Hard Disk/DVD Recorder with up to 4 channel video digitisation will be supplied.

2. DETECTION, RECOGNITION & IDENTIFICATION

The Platform will automatically stabilise the images from both the Thermal and Visual Sensors to enable an operator to detect, recognise and identify targets within the angular sector of interest. Both the visual and thermal cameras will be equipped with zoom capability to facilitate long range recognition and identification.
The following definitions (as supplied by the RFQ) are accepted:
  • Detection – the operator decides that a target is present
  • Recognition – the operator is able to recognise the type of target (man, boat etc.)
  • Identification – the operator is able to describe the target in detail (eg type of vessel)
The IR sensor used has a resolution of 384x288. Using this sensor and the IR lens envisaged will provide target recognition (as illustrated) at ranges up to 850m.

3. DESIGNATION FUNCTION
The system will:
  • Aim the Line of Sight (LoS) of the Platform by slaving to the azimuth information from the RADAR in accordance with Interface Protocol NMEA183 IEC 1162-1.
  • Transfer the video images (thermal and/or visual), including graphically injected position data, target azimuth data, date/time data to the Recorder.
4. SYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS
4.1. Platform Characteristics

4.1.1. Coverage

The Platform will provide the following coverage:
  • Azimuth: Continuous 360º rotation
  • Elevation: +70º to -20º
4.1.2. Angular Speed
  • Elevation – 0.1 rad/sec to 1.0 rad/sec
  • Azimuth - 0.1 rad/sec to 1.0 rad/sec
4.1.3. Angular Acceleration - Compliant
  • Elevation – 2 rad/sec2
  • Azimuth - 2 rad/sec2
4.1.4. Physical Size
As the Platform offered utilises a state-of-the-art high resolution uncooled thermal imager, its physical size is much smaller that that specified by the RFQ.
  • Height: 430mm
  • Diameter: 300mm
4.1.5. Platform Mass
As the Platform offered utilises a state-of-the-art high resolution uncooled thermal imager, its mass is much smaller that that specified by the RFQ.
  • Mass including sensor payload: <40Kg
4.1.6. Stabilisation Performance
  • Stabilisation: better that 150μrad in sea state 4
4.1.7. Designation Performance
  • Accuracy: Better that 15’ (1 sigma)
5. MONITOR
A monitor having the following characteristics will be provided:
  • Size: 17” (432mm) Diagonal
  • Technology: TFT, Colour
  • Resolution: 1024 x 768 or better
  • Video Standard Compatibility: PAL or NTSC
The monitor will be supplied with contrast/brightness controls and will be able to display either the thermal or CCD video information, together with graphics information of latitude/longditude/azimuth bearing etc.

6. CONTROL PANEL

The Control Panel will incorporate the following functions:
  • Joystick – providing rate proportional control of Platform Azimuth and Elevation
  • Keyboard/Pushbuttons to control the sensor functions and video source selection (thermal or visual) for display on the Monitor
  • Graphics Panel – having a resolution of at least 192 x 64 pixels and providing a visual indication of mode of operation, axis position and alarms
7. ELECTRONICS COMMAND UNIT
While other platforms require a separate Electronic Command Unit, the advanced SP 300 Platform offered incorporates all of the following functions within the Platform itself:
  • Power supplies
  • Axis Motor Drives
  • Gyros & conditioning electronics
  • Syncro/resolvers
  • Communications (to the Control Panel)
  • BIT Management
8. RECORDING UNIT
The system will be supplied with a commercial Recording Unit having the following characteristics:
  • Hard disk recorder, minimum size 40Gbyte
  • DVD Writer
The Recording Unit will have provision to record 2 video sources simultaneously with the provision to provide an additional 2 video inputs.
The Recording Unit will be configured to operate in conjunction with the Control Panel.

9. STABALISATION SYSTEM

The system will provide image stabilisation of 150μrad in the following conditions:
  • Sea force 4/5
  • Wind Speed <20Knots
The system will provide image stabilisation of 200μrad in the following conditions:
  • Sea force 6/7
  • Wind Speed <50Knots
10. VIDEO CAMERA
The Platform will incorporate a Video Camera having the following characteristics:
  • Type: Colour high resolution CCD with a 1/3 inch sensor
  • Lens: Continuous zoom
  • TV Standard: PAL
  • Resolution: 750 x 580 pixels
  • Field of View: Narrow, 1.5ºx1º, Wide, 56ºx46º
  • Focus (NFoV): better than 250m to infinity
  • Focus (WFoV): better than 30m to infinity
  • IRIS – Automatic
  • Automatic Focus: Available
sp300-05.jpg11. IR THERMAL CAMERA
The Platform will incorporate a high resolution uncooled IR Camera having the following characteristics:
  • Type: Generation 3, Staring focal plane array
  • Resolution: 384 x 288 pixels (44% higher than specified)
  • Detector: Uncooled amorphous silicon
  • Spectral Band: 7.5μm to 14μm
  • FoV: 8°x 6°, 4º x 3º, 2º x 1.5º and 1º x 0.75º
  • NETD: better than 50mK
  • Automatic Focus: Available
  • Pseudocolour: Yes, but not recommended for the surveillance task.
The following IR camera control functions are available through the Control Panel:
  • Focus
  • Field of View Selection
  • Polarity
  • Manual/Automatic Gain Control
  • Colour Palette selection
The IR Camera offered is a state-of-the-art uncooled IR device that offers substantial reliability benefits over cooled sensors.
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