ARGUS Tracking and
Instrument Control Software
The ARGUS software
provides complete integration of all aspects of the tracking system.
It is designed for use as a complete turnkey solution for test range
The software is written in
C++ and runs under the QNX real time operating system. The Argus
Tracking and Instrument Control software was conceived as an
open-architecture system where additions and enhancements could be
made by customers. Photo-Sonics offers a unique ‘C’ Hook feature
that allows customers to link their own special software extensions
to the Argus Runtime engine. This way the user can enhance the
software so that the capabilities of Argus are increasing with the
special needs of the test ranges. The 'C' Hook program provides the
capability to the range for customizing the system while still
retaining the full benefits of a commercial product with normal
support, software maintenance, updates and revision control. Argus
uses a network-based architecture compatible with Ethernet / fiber
optic connectivity to other software systems. Photo-Sonics is also
continually enhancing the basic capabilities of Argus by
implementing customer requested features.
Some of the main characteristics are summarized
Full Remote Control
- Integration to
Range Control Center is standard.
- Fiber optic or
microwave links available.
- Real-time link to
control center for TSPI and status outputs, and for
designation, remote control commands and countdown inputs.
- Real-time link to
(optional) front-end processor for multi-instrument
designation and acquisition.
- Multiple video
outputs for transmission to Range Control Center (Selectable
- Touch Screen
connection for pre-/post-mission data transfers.
preparation is formalized to ensure proper system operation.
- A pre-defined
checklist is used to enter all operation data and check
system for faults.
- Multiple sources
of designation and tracking data to ensure mission success
including multiple nominal trajectories and predefined
- Multiple sources
of target range (distance) data.
- Priority based
mechanism for automatic selection of best tracking and range
bandwidth tracking filters.
- Automatic and
manual (forced) coast capabilities.
- Smooth transition
from automatic track to manual track.
- Single and
dual-gate automatic video tracker support.
- Automatic target
acquisition capabilities (video & radar).
hand-off between video tracker gates (eg. for airborne
- Auto focus for
film, digital and video cameras.
- Auto zoom to
ensure optimum image size.
auto tracker configurations to simplify operation.
- Multiple levels
of remote and automatic control using mission specific
- Events and
configurations can be activated by the local operator, by
the control center or automatically based on countdown or T0
commands can be received from the control center.
- System operation
designed to handle two operators simultaneously (e.g.
man-on-mount for manual tracking, console operator for auto
tracking and slaving).
- Tilt and wobble
calibration for pedestal miss-level using built-in sensor.
- Includes both
Target Board and Stellar Calibration procedures.
- All calibration
processes are fully automated.
calibration of all optical sensors as well as radar.
designed for off-axis sensors.
- Calibration data
recorded on video and disk for post-processing.
- Supports pre- and
post-mission calibration for improved accuracy.
- Built-in target
simulation to assist in system setup, system and operator
evaluation, and operator training.
- Fully authentic
hardware-in-the-loop simulation. Target motion simulated in
3D based on defined target trajectory and current pedestal
- System operates
identically to a normal mission.
synthetic video targets inserted directly into the video
path as if visible through the video tracking camera.
- Tracking camera
or VCR provides background image.
- Detailed status
displays for each subsystem.
maintenance software for each subsystem.
recording of critical internal data to assist in fault
- Network traffic
can be recorded for detailed fault analysis.
- Built-in target
simulation can also be used for system performance testing.
- Servo performance
- Provides built-in
test and fault detection capabilities.
- Initial self
tests performed at start up.
monitors all sub-systems for fault conditions.
- Always visible
fault messages and color coded fault button provided on
touch screen display.
- Pressing the
Fault button will display additional faults down to
- Faults are
‘sticky’ - Will not be cleared until checked by the
- All faults
recorded on disk for later analysis.
- Single or Dual
- All video cameras
are synchronized to ensure minimal timing errors.
switching between gates.
- Target quality
and priority based mechanism for automatic selection of
sensors and gates.
- Synthetic target
generation for use by target simulator.
editor for preparation of pre-programmed operating modes.
- Auto tracker
update rates as high as 250 fps.
Sensor and Optics Integration
- Optical sensor
configuration editor (plug & play sensor selection).
- Full integration
of all sensor controls (including radar).
- Auto & manual
focus, zoom, iris, exposure control.
- Scripts to
automate the control of the sensors.
- Control and
calibration of zoom lens for metric TSPI collection.
- Control of all
data recorders (local & remote).
- Video headers
written to ensure data integrity.
Timing and Coordinate Systems
- Complete suite of
coordinate system transformations based on geodetic, ECEF,
UTM, Cartesian & polar coordinate systems.
- GPS and IRIG time
used for system timing and synchronization.
- IRIG-B can be
used for control events.
- Site related
parameters (position, reference target coordinates, etc) are
stored on disk for all sites.
- All system timing
is synchronized to the on-time edge of the GPS/IRIG signal.
This includes the sampling of the encoder data as well as
the frame timing for the film, video & digital cameras.
Video & Data Recording
- All recorded
video is time-stamped to < 2 microsecond accuracy.
- All recorded TSPI
data is time-stamped to < 2 microsecond accuracy.
- All system data
is recorded in real-time.
- Data extraction
tool provided to extract data for post-mission processing.
- Fully integrated
with Trackeye 3D data reduction software.
- TSPI data as well
as calibration data available to Trackeye.