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Figure 12. MATRIS electronics rack.

Software

The gimbal control employs a Windows 2000-based controller that interfaces with the optical tracker, GPS tracking, or manual tracking. GPS and modem data are passed to the Xycom control computer and are processed to provide azimuth and elevation coordinates that are passed to the gimbal controller. The digital recording computer was originally designed for airborne digital data recording of onboard IR, and as such is designed to be standalone and semi-autonomous with minimal operator interaction. A steady light indicates it is ready to accept data. A toggle switch signals it to record data and the steady light changes to flashing to indicate that the unit is successfully recording. This frees a display screen and simplifies procedures for the operator.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Optics

To obtain the highest spatial resolution available with the given 12.5-inch (31.75 cm) aperture, initially a 300-inch (762 cm) focal length was chosen. A secondary finder scope would be used for initial target acquisition and much of the tracking, alleviating one concern of the very narrow FOV with such a long focal length. The 300-inch (762 cm) focal length f/24 system operated well in a laboratory setup, but failed to perform adequately outside with similarly illuminated objects as would be required to image. This was due to the poor light-gathering ability of such a high f/number system. Relative aperture (RA) is a measure of the irradiation in the image of distant objects. If both the object and the image are in air (same index of refraction) then:

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