The purpose of this project is to redesign the current multi-camera head and sensor platform utilized on both the test aircraft and mobile test vehicle (MTV). A new platform will be designed for each of the test vehicles that will allow for additional sensors and cameras to be securely mounted while maintaining full visibility and mobility.
Design and construct two platforms that will be capable of supporting multiple camera heads and sensors. Each camera and sensor will be fitted with its own cradle that will contain a servo motor for articulation while being mounted onto the primary platform. There will be two platforms designed, one for the test aircraft and one for the mobile test vehicle, each with their own specific requirements. The mobile test vehicle platform is to be kept as simple as possible while still maintaining structural rigidity. Any angular and position changes are to be made manually, but kept at a minimum timeframe. As for the test aircraft platform, each camera shall be mounted securely to the main platform but should be capable of vertical and horizontal articulation simultaneously via servo motors and electronic circuit controls within the aircraft. Stability and rigidity shall be maintained as well as keeping the platform completely encapsulated, as to protect from environmental elements and wind effects.
Justification and Background
The multi camera-head and sensor platforms designed will be solely utilized by the Air Force Research Laboratory for the purpose of furthering development of precision time-tagged multi-sensor data collection systems. There will be one platform for a land based test unit and one platform that will be implemented on an airborne test unit, each of which will be tested in various physical and environmental conditions while maintaining full system integrity. Platform size will be limited to what the AFRL has already specified as acceptable dimensions, while camera position and mounting is left to be determined. Placement of the cameras and sensors will be determined based on the physical dimensions of each component, along with the quantity per platform. One of the primary goals is to occupy as little space as possible on each of the mounting platforms. Designing and creating a compact but maneuverable mounting solution for these devices plays a crucial role in the success of the project.