Forward Vision MIC1-400, gyrostabilisation provided by H Scientific

H Scientific worked with Forward Vision CCTV UK (now Bosch) to develop a gyrostabilised camera: namely a version of the MIC1-400 motorised CCTV camera. A fast and accurate attitude sensor was used, together with sophisticated integration algorithms running on the SPECTRE architecture, which allow the camera to work in the following modes:

  • Pointing in a fixed direction relative to the vehicle (azimuth, elevation)
  • Pointing in a fixed direction (absolute heading, elevation), or
  • Pointing at a fixed position and height.

The 3DM-GX1 sensor produced by MicroStrain, Inc. was used to measure the vehicle attitude. This comprises triaxial accelerometers, magnetometers and angular rate sensors to measure static and dynamic orientation. Sophisticated data fusion algorithms running on a dedicated processor board (SPECTRE hardware) improve the data by removing latencies and, together with GPS data, produce estimates of the vehicle velocity vector, attitude and position. A modified controller algorithm is used to calculate the camera's demanded pan and tilt speeds. The interface with the camera uses a modified fast communications protocol written by Forward Vision CCTV UK specifically for this application.

A magnetic calibration routine was developed to improve the performance of the 3DM-GX1. This measures the magnetic environment experienced in a series of manoeuvres and calculates the magnetic offsets.

The stabilised cameras have been tested both on land and sea and have been in use with QinetiQ, UK, on a fast RHIB (FASTAR) and on moored barges.