The Night Hawk Surveillance Platform needed to utilize a high-performance Pan & Tilt gimbal that offered the user extraordinary flexibility and ruggedness. It also had to accommodate a variety of sensors, such as laser range finder, target illuminator and video tracker. The system had to provide continuous operation with no scheduled maintenance, even under extreme environmental conditions.
The platform needed to be networked using Ethernet, so that it could be controlled from virtually anywhere in the world.
Highly versatile pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) surveillance platform with ultra long-range optics for extreme tactical and environmental conditions. TASS communications protocol compatible.
Developing a custom PTZ platform within a very short time frame (4 months), integrating custom motors and encoders, motion controller thermal imaging and day vision sensors amongst other sensors and writing a control application.
The system is equipped with a thermal imaging camera for night vision and a day vision color camera
with x60 optical zoom. Two high torque servomotors control azimuth and elevation as direct drive components.
The control software for remote control has been written in LabVIEW.
The Night Hawk is fully network enabled with all command and control over a single Ethernet interface, which supports wired or wireless connection with a central command station. The system also includes an internal two channel MPEG 4 encoder with a built in video switch to support network-based output of all video signals. Analog video connections are also provided through the single interface connector to support local system operation. The Night Hawk platform is designed to operate in mobile or stationary installations. The standard configuration includes preinstalled wiring and mounting interfaces for an optional gyro based stabilization package. The supplied system firmware includes stabilized rate mode functionality to support this configuration option.