As is generally understood, camera gimbals are probably the most widely integrated payloads onto UAV platforms. The applications for such stabilized cameras include defense and security, search and rescue, aerial photography and agricultural monitoring to name but a few. However, simply installing the camera is not enough; it is critical to obtain a steady, high-quality picture in order to successfully achieve the objective of the mission.
During such a mission, the UAV platform will suffer vibration and changes in orientation caused by the natural operation of the aircraft. Some platforms will vibrate more than others (i.e. piston-engined helicopters). One of the jobs of a high-quality gimbal and its installation is to ensure that these vibrations and movements do not affect image quality. Part of this is the requirement to provide precise, reliable information about the attitude of the aircraft. Whilst some cameras can provide their own basic attitude information, more advanced features, such as object tracking or geo-referenced pointing, will require more precise information from an external source.
Those UAVs which use the VECTOR autopilot will be able to make use of its precision internal AHRS to provide such information to the camera.
UAV Navigation is proud to have teamed up with OCTOPUS, a Latvian manufacturer of payloads for UAV platforms. The VECTOR autopilot, thanks to its extensive I/O capabilities allows the transmission of attitude and position data directly to the gimbal so no additional devices are needed. This has the added advantage of simplifying the installation and reducing cost, because the VECTOR’s AHRS unit is used for two purposes at the same time: flying the aircraft and stabilizing the camera.
When paired with an OCTOPUS Epsilon UAV gimbal payload (135, 140, 140Z or 175), the VECTOR provides positional and rotational parameters to enable precision tracking and pointing features for the camera.
UAV Navigation works with the industry’s leading payload manufacturers in order to provide the widest possible choice for platform manufacturers when selecting payloads. This latest partnership with OCTOPUS is another example of UAV Navigation’s philosophy of continuous improvement.