Customized Licensing for Technology & Engineering Software

Pointing And Tracking Control Software

Precision Mount Control System

Precision Mount Control System™ (PMCS) is a universal gimbal control system for altitude/azimuth (elevation/azimuth) optical tracking mounts. PMCS has been used to track objects ranging from mortars and hypervelocity projectiles to LEO and MEO satellites.

Feature-rich and versatile, the Precision Mount Control System provides state-of-the-art pointing and tracking capabilities, including:

  • A highly configurable control interface with GUI, control panel, joystick, or gamepad
  • Mission-adaptable external inputs such as radar, telemetry, or external computer control
  • Multiple drive modes - geodetic, star (sidereal), planet, trajectory, satellite, video, and remote via ethernet
  • Built-in star calibration for internal mount and sensor calibration
  • Has been integrated with TENA and nTSPI

Vision Engineering Solutions has integrated PMCS with Kineto Tracking Mounts (KTMs), a Nike/Hercules mount, and mounts manufactured by PlaneWave, Contraves, General Defense Corp., Atlantic Positioning, and Zybion/Multitech.

The Vision Engineering Solutions Hardware Control Panel (HWCP)  controls the PMCS software. The HWCP provides a convenient and flexible human interface into the Precision Mount Control System (PMCS) to create a more efficient mission workflow. The HWCP contains analog in/analog out and digital I/O functions that can interface with the outside world. These functions are largely undefined but can be configured as needed, for example, to control a Dome Control Drive System. The HWCP consists of four programmable knobs, two programmable foot switches, a joystick, and/or a gamepad.

As an example of PMCS’ capabilities, for a recent customer, VES integrated PMCS with a PlaneWave L600 gimbal, a 20” telescope, and a fast-steering mirror (no adaptive optics).  This system consistently tracked LEO satellites and maintained the centroid of the satellite image within 3 microradians of the center of the camera array.

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PMCS Hardware Control Panel
Above: PMCS Hardware Control Panel

Standard Features and User-Customizable Options

  • State-of-the-art user interfaces, including remote options
  • Manual or automated tracking modes
  • Adaptable to a large range of makes and models of gimbals
  • Custom electronics to increase reliability and speed
  • Allows user calibration of servo drive
  • Built-in star calibration
  • Video tracker interface
  • Built-in safety features
  • Multiple automated drive modes can be combined with manual gimbal motion controls for finer control
  • Four programmable knobs on the hardware control panel
  • DC or AC servo motor interface
  • Serial, parallel, or Ethernet interface to most popular brands of position encoders
  • Ethernet broadcast data provides real-time feedback to external systems
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    Customized Licensed DVR Software

    Mission-Focused Digital Video Recorder System

    In addition to video recording and streaming, VES’ DVR system has a video tracker feature, and provides a single interface for user-prioritized controls of sensors and other components. The latter significantly reduces operator workload and improves the quality of collected data. Our Digital Video Player (see below) comes bundled with this software.

    Features:

    • Video Recording
    • Video Streaming
    • Video track function
    • Single user interface for sensor controls
      • SDI, CoaXpress, GigE sensor interfaces supported
    • Focus control
    • Lens control
    • Filter wheel control
    • Video enhancement via look-up tables (LUTs)
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    Customized Licensed DVP Software

    Powerful Digital Video Player

    With the VES DVP,  a single data stream can carry all sensor imagery (visual, Near/Mid/Far IR, and UV) on a single timecode to provide new visualization and analysis capabilities. Available separately or bundled with DVR.

    Features:

    • Visual image enhancement via look-up tables (LUTs)
    • Exports video to compressed formats
    • Enables viewing of embedded info in video files
      • Camera settings
      • Time stamps
      • Fused mount data
    Laser Safety and Deconfliction System

    Clear2Fire®

    Clear2Fire (C2F) is a highly adaptable laser safety system for use with: LIDAR/LADAR systems, laser communication systems, laser imaging systems, or high energy laser systems. For these and other laser systems that have dynamic pointing, C2F provides a fail-safe way to protect people and assets from inadvertent illumination. C2F is a real-time system that constantly monitors the laser systems, gimbal and surrounding environment for safety conflicts, and if any are found, laser emission can be inhibited.
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    Optical Tracking Systems

    VT-100 Tracking Mount

    The VT-100 is a Vision Engineering Solutions flagship product, built on 20+ years of lab and field experience. This tracking system fulfills pointing, tracking, imaging, and sensing needs across a broad range of applications. The mount can support up to 400 pounds of payload distributed over its 6 modular mounting faces and can run at a maximum velocity of 90 degrees per second.

    A slip ring with power and gigabit ethernet gives the VT-100 the capability for unlimited azimuth rotation while eliminating cable wrap issues. Its low mass and dimensions make it easily transportable by land, sea, or air.

    Given VT-100’s 26-bit pointing resolution, tracking accuracy can be on the order of one micro-radian. With aircraft-grade aluminum construction, stainless steel members and fasteners, and a powder coating or epoxy paint finish, the VT-100 was designed for use in harsh environments.

    The VT-100 tracker sets the standard for tracking fast-moving dynamic objects on the ground, in the air, or in space. Complete build documentation for the VT-100 is available for licensing from VES.

    Extending an Optical Tracking System's Service Life

    Refurbishments & Upgrades

    Having worked with numerous brands and types of optical tracking systems, VES has developed a modification package that refurbishes and/or upgrades a variety of tracking gimbals, including Kineto Tracking Mounts, PlaneWave’s L500 and L600, and others. The modification package includes a license to VES’ Precision Mount Control System (PMCS), build documentation for the required electronic chassis, and integration instructions. This package will convert an astronomical tracking system into a metric tracking system with the ability to provide time, space, and position information (TSPI) to the operator.

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    Partial List of Clients Whose Existing Systems Have Been Upgraded by VES

    U.S. Army, Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) • Army High Energy Laser System Test Facility (HELSTF) • U.S. Navy • University of Central Florida