Computer controlled optical tracking system

A system for tracking a target comprises an acquisition sight used by a pilot of an aircraft to acquire and begin tracking the target. Once the pilot acquires the target an operator can use a track handle to track the target. The operator monitors the target utilizing narrow and wide field of view monitors. A computer receives azimuth and elevation data from the tracking device which may be the acquisition sight, track handle, a video tracking system or a tracking radar coupled to an infrared display system. The computer then processes the azimuth and elevation data and provides azimuth and elevation angle signals to a gimbal mirror interface which steers the gimballed mirror to the target. The gimballed mirror receives image forming light from the target and then directs the image forming light to a wide field of view camera and a zoom telescope. The wide field of view camera is connected to the wide field of view monitor to display the target on the wide field of view monitor. The zoom telescope provides a narrow field of view image which is directed to a narrow field of view camera which is connected to the narrow field of view monitor allowing the narrow field of view image of the target to be displayed. The airborne video tracking system also provides for the automatic calibration of the gimballed mirror, the acquisition sight and the infrared display system.
Inventors: 

Christian L. Houlberg

Patent Number: 
US6072571
Patent Issue Date: 
July 6, 2000
Lab Representatives
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