Controp Lifts Lid on Aerostat Camera

Paris Air Show » 2013
Controp’s three-axis stabilized camera
Controp’s three-axis stabilized camera can be carried by balloons and aerostats. Here the carrier is a Skystar 300 aerostat.
June 20, 2013, 4:00 AM

Israeli sensor specialist Controp Precision Technologies is launching the latest member of its sensor payload family here at le Bourget. The Speed-A is an electro-optical/infrared sensor that is tailored for use with lighter-than-air (LTA) platforms. The system is already operational in Israel and with the Canadian army, the latter having deployed the system overseas for use with the Aeronautics Skystar 300 aerostat. Controp has recently added a new customer for the Speed-A in Europe.

Carried under a tactical balloon or aerostat, the 23-kilogram Speed-A camera is suitable for several applications, including border protection. It is particularly suitable for 24-hour forward base protection duties.

For LTA applications the Speed-A has three-axis gyro stabilization, with a roll channel added to the traditional pitch and yaw axes. This is required to compensate for the roll movement that is unique to LTA platforms. The thermal camera features a continuous zoom function and has image enhancement features for low-visibility conditions. A laser rangefinder is an option.

Controp (Hall 3 A8) is also displaying its popular Stamp series of stabilized miniature payloads for small UAVs. Several hundred of these payloads are operational with both fixed- and rotary-wing UAVs. Elbit’s Sky Rider (Skylark) hand-launched UAV is in widespread Israeli service with a Stamp payload, and hundreds have recently been ordered for a European small UAV program.

Latest member of the family is the M-Stamp, a multi-sensor payload with continuous-zoom CCD camera, dual field-of-view uncooled IR camera and a laser pointer. In the near future Controp hopes to offer continuous-zoom capability for the infrared sensor as well as the CCD. M-Stamp is one of several camera systems on display at the Paris Air Show, as is the HD-Stamp, which Controp claims to be the only high-definition gyro-stabilized camera available for small UAVs.

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