UAV Factory Case Study
CAMERA
POINTING
CASE STUDY
Octopus ISR Delivers Precision Geo-Lock
INTRODUCTION
Octopus ISR Systems is a division of UAV Factory Ltd. that specialises in
the design and development of miniature gyro-stabilized gimbals. The
Octopus Epsilon 140 is a rugged and lightweight stabilized dual-sensor
UAV gimbal used for long-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) applications. It features an industry leading 30x (1.3° vertical
field of view) usable optical zoom with onboard image processing and
target tracking.
The Epsilon 140 features Precision Geo-Lock, a geo-location capability
that allows the customer to provide the gimbal controller with a latitude,
longitude and altitude and have the payload (camera, laser, and or other
device) point at the location regardless of the platform motion. For example, as an aircraft circles the camera will remain trained on a specific
location or could be retargeted with new coordinates regardless of the
aircraft attitude or position.
Due to the small form factor of miniature UAV gimbals the standard
industry approach is to use the attitude and position data from the
aircraft autopilot system for gimbal geo-pointing. This approach requires
precise installation and calibration of the combined system to ensure
there is no misalignment between gimbal and autopilot measurement
axes. Integrators must also develop custom cabling, communication
interfaces, and software in order to support the wide range of autopilot
systems operating on varying UAVs. One of the key features of the
Epsilon 140 is that it is a plug and play solution, only requiring the
customer to provide power, a serial connection for control and optional
network connection for the video feed.
COMPANY PROFILE
Octopus ISR Systems, a subsidiary of UAV Factory
Ltd., was created in 2016 to provide NON-ITAR
controlled, cutting-edge gimbal solutions to both
manned and unmanned industries. UAV Factory is
among the world’s leading developers and manufactures of fixed wing composite small unmanned
aircraft and subsystems for the 55 lbs. and under
class UAS.
APPLICATION
Camera Pointing
VECTORNAV PRODUCT
VN-200 GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation System
OCTOPUS ISR SYSTEMS PRODUCT
Epsilon 140z Gyro Stabilized Gimbal
CHALLENGES
Given the narrow 1.3° field of view of the Epsilon 140 camera and in order
to provide customers with a completely plug and play solution, Octopus
engineers needed to break from industry standard practice and find a
creative new solution for onboard attitude and position data. The 1.3°
field of view required that the onboard inertial measurement solution be
capable of providing a dynamic heading accuracy better than 0.5° and a
pitch/roll accuracy of less than 0.1°. These accuracies would ensure that
the geographical coordinates of the target location would remain within
the image frame of the camera.
Octopus ISR Systems’ Epsilon 140z Gyro-Stabilized Gimbal
Embedded Navigation Solutions
VN-200 GPS-Aided INS
CHALLENGES (continued)
The wide range of customer UAV operating requirements and environmental
conditions presented additional challenges to the Octopus team. An INS
solution that could provide robust performance in high vibration environments,
throughout dynamic maneuvers, and under varying thermal conditions was
reuqired. As with all UAVs, small size, low weight, and low power consumption
(SWaP) were also critical to customer payload requirements. Finding a high-performance INS that could perform under such conditions but meet the SWaP
requirements would be a challenging endeavor.
HOW VECTORNAV HELPED
KEY SPECIFICATIONS
NAVIGATION & IMU
Heading (INS)
Pitch/Roll (Dynamic)
Accelerometer Range
Gyroscope Range
Gyro In-Run Bias Stability
Max Output Rate
PHYSICAL & ELECTRICAL
Dimensions (Rugged)
Dimensions (SMD)
Weight (Rugged)
Weight (SMD)
Max Power Usage (Rugged)
Max Power Usage (SMD)
0.3 ° RMS
0.1 ° RMS
±16 g
±2000 °/s
5 °/hr typical
800 Hz
36 x 33 x 9.5 mm
24 x 22 x 3 mm
16 g
4g
500 mW
445 mW
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
About Octopus ISR Systems:
www.octopus.uavfactory.com
About VectorNav Technologies:
www.vectornav.com
About the Epsilon 140z:
http://octopus.uavfactory.com/uavpayloads-equipment/epsilon-140
About the VN-200:
www.vectornav.com/products/vn-200
After considering several solutions, Octopus engineers turned to the VectorNav
VN-200 GPS/INS, which features high range 16 g accelerometers and 2000°/s
gyros in a postage stamp sized Surface Mount Device (SMD) package. “VectorNav’s VN-200 was the only product on the market that offered a high-level of
performance and small enough form factor that it could be integrated directly
into the optical bench of the gimbal” said Konstantins Popiks, CTO at UAV Factory. “When the product delivered that level of accuracy despite the high vibrations,
accelerations and temperature fluctuations of our application, the choice was
obvious.”
VectorNav’s VN-200 is available in both SMD and Rugged packages, which
enabled Octopus to not only provide an integrated OEM solution but also a
retrofit solution for existing in-market systems. Additionally, Octopus was able to
benefit from the common footprint, pin compatibility and shared interface protocol of the Industrial Series to integrate the VN-300 Dual Antenna GNSS/INS with
minimal changes to the system. The VN-300 enables highly accurate static
heading estimation using GPS-Compassing.
RESULTS, RETURN ON INVESTMENT
AND FUTURE PLANS
The team at UAV Factory are pleased with the results, as Popiks explains:
“Integration of the VN-200 was much quicker than expected, due in part to the
excellent customer support and documentation provided by VectorNav. Our
questions were sorted out quickly even though we’re located on different continents. We also found that the price to performance ratio of the VectorNav
products is very good, and we are integrating these sensors into our future
products.” Epsilon gyro-stabilized turrets will be available with both VectorNav’s
VN-200 single GPS-based INS solution, as well as the VN-300 dual GPS-based
INS. A single GPS/INS solution is suitable for dynamic platforms such as
manned and unmanned aircraft, while dual GPS/INS is a necessity for platforms
with low dynamics, such as aerostats, ships and helicopters.
ABOUT VECTORNAV
VectorNav Technologies is a leading developer and manufacturer of high
performance inertial navigation systems using the latest in MEMS sensor and
GPS/GNSS technology. Since its founding in 2008, VectorNav has provided
systems integrators in the Military, Aerospace, Marine, and Robotics industries
with inertial navigation solutions with best-in-class price to performance ratios.
VectorNav Technologies
10501 Markison Road
Dallas, TX 75238, USA
tel
+1 512 772 3615
email
[email protected]
web
www.vectornav.com
© 2017 VectorNav Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved. VectorNav, the Diamond and Triangle logo, VN-200 and Embedded Navigation Solutions are trademarks of VectorNav Technologies, LLC.
UAV Factory, Octopus ISR and Epsilon 140z are trademarks of UAV Factory Ltd. Specifications subject to change without notice.
Version 12-0012-R0
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