Mini-Sextant Tracking Mount


Photo-Sonics is pleased to announce the addition of the Mini-Sextant to our line of optical tracking mounts, joining our proven Nano-Sextant, Mobile Multi-Spectral TSPI Systems (MMTS), Cine-Sextant and Super-RADOT systems.  The design of the Mini-Sextant provides four sensor stations for collection of highly accurate Time-Space-Position-Information (TSPI) or Engineering Sequential Data (ESD) from high dynamic airborne targets. The Mini-Sextant has a significant amount of torque in azimuth and elevation and will provide dynamic performance equal to that of the MMTS.  Its unique balance of available torque, positioning accuracies and payload flexibility allows the system to be configured with optics best suited for close-in launch missions or down range for longer range fly-out missions without compromising dynamic performance or accuracy.

Payload Flexibility - Photo-Sonics has over
50 years experience in the design selection,
fabrication and integration of sensor suites

on Optical Tracking Systems (OTS).  Depending upon your mission needs, a fully integrated Mini-Sextant can be
configured with a combination of long-range / short-range optics with a combination of long-range / short-range
optics, and laser range finders.  While the recommended maximum total payload is 400 pounds, additional payload
may be supported with reduced dynamics and accuracies.
Mini-Sextant: Palette Mounted Mini-Sextant: Pedestal Mounted
Robust Pedestal Construction — Photo-Sonics utilizes Almag‑35, an aluminum magnesium alloy,
which provides excellent corrosion resistance to support long life with minimal maintenance in the
harshest environments.  We use only full size bearings to provide the highest stability and accuracies,
as opposed to narrow diameter bearings found in lesser systems.  Powerful, DC torque motors are
provided in both the azimuth and elevation axis are coupled to the identical 9-inch diameter, 24-bit
optical encoders used in our flagship tracking system, the MMTS

Pedestal Support Electronics — The modularity of the Mini-Sextant control electronics supports
several installation scenarios.  The Trunnion Computer Unit, vital for real-time operations of the
pedestal, sensors and optics is located within the pedestal.  The Digital Servo Amplifier (DSA),
RFI power filters and I/O panel are packaged in enclosures at the pedestal site.  The remaining
electronics such as Base Computer Unit (BCU), Video Switches, Video Trackers, Video Recorders,
etc., are installed in the Operator's Console which can be located in a mobile Operations Van or at
the user’s Mission Operation Center.

Control Software — The ARGUS control software
provides all the functionality the user would expect of
an advanced TSPI tracking system. It provides a
single interface for the tracking pedestal, sensors,
auto-tracking, radar, calibration, target simulation and
diagnostics of the complete tracking system. Control of
the system is simplified via an intuitive touch screen
GUI. The standard ARGUS application can control up to
10 sensor stations, in addition to radar and lasers,
allowing a single-operator complete control of all
aspects of a complex and highly capable system from
a remote location. It also provides the control of single
and dual-gate auto trackers and fixed focal length and
zoom lenses and focus tables. Automated Star
Calibration are incorporated to yield the highest TSPI
accuracy of any optical tracking system manufactured today.

Visit the ARGUS software page.


Operator Console - Photo-Sonics offers a
variety of console configurations, from our
full- size console (for location in mission
control center) to smaller, compact consoles
suitable for mobile command vehicles or multiple packing cases for transportability. The default connection between the pedestal and the remote console is via a single-strand,
single-mode 'dark' fiber optic cable, which
allows for up to 20 km separation. Alternative
interfaces including shared fiber optics and
microwave are also supported.


A standard console consists
of the following items:

· 19" Touch-Screen Monitor
  for the main GUI interface

· Video Monitors
  (2, 3, or 4 screens available)

· Operator Control Panel

· Mini Keyboard with Control
  Stick and Operator Controls

· Console Computer

· I/O Panel (Fiber optics,
  Ethernet switches)

· Optional UPS


System Options:

Trailer Configuration
The Mini‑Sextant can be
configured with a ruggedized
trailer system customized for operations at multiple sites.

Shipboard Stabilization
Photo-Sonics can configure
the Mini-Sextant with a
stabilization system to allow
use of the system at sea.


Mini-Sextant System Specifications

System Accuracy, Fixed Mount

±10 arc-seconds (50 micro-radians), 2σ


28” diameter azimuth thrust bearing
16” diameter elevation ball bearing

Drive System

Direct drive DC torque motors (brush type)


Azimuth         :  350 foot pounds (475 N•m)Elevation       :  350 foot pounds (475 N•m)

Velocity (nominal payload)

Azimuth         :  120°/second
Elevation       :  120°/second

Acceleration (nominal payload)

Azimuth         :  120° sec²
Elevation       :  120
° sec²

Closed Loop Servo Bandwidth

Azimuth         :  8-10 Hertz
Elevation       :  8-10 Hertz

Nominal Payload

200 pounds per platform
(at rated payload moment of inertia design specification)


± 5 arc seconds

Encoders (optical, absolute)


Elevation Travel

-15° to +195°

Azimuth Travel

±270° (cable wrap configuration)
(slip-ring configuration)

Transit Locks

Locking stow pins in AZ and EL axis


78” (pedestal base)


3-phase European or US AC power

Photo-Sonics, Inc.
818-842-2141     (ph - switchboard paging)
818-842-2610     (fax)
  <back to top>  

© 2019 Photo-Sonics, Inc.