Pitch and Yaw Trajectory Measurement Comparison Between Automated Video Analysis and Onboard Sensor Data Analysis Techniques

Report No. ARL-TR-6576
Authors: Ryan J. Decker; Bradford S. Davis; Thomas E. Harkins
Date/Pages: September 2013; 40 pages
Abstract: This report is a comparison between a newly developed method and a well proven analysis process to measure the pitch and yaw behavior of an artillery projectile following cannon launch. In the new method, launch video is processed using automated computer-vision algorithms to estimate a projectile's orientation history in the interval of video coverage. For the experiments covered by this report, this interval extended from the muzzle to approximately 70–80 m downrange. The accuracy of the method's results is validated by comparing them to results obtained from processing of high-fidelity onboard measurements using the vectoring technique known as Projectile Orientation In Navigation TERms (POINTER). From this evaluation, it is shown that the automated video analysis method is correctly measuring the epicyclic motion of the projectile during the portion of flight captured by the video (first two nutation cycles).

Included in the report is a general introduction of both analysis methods, as well as a brief overview of other techniques used by aeroballisticians to characterize the flight mechanics of artillery projectiles. The limits and advantages of the various methods are discussed, and future research efforts to improve results and overcome some of the shortcomings of the automated video method are identified.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2013