Ultra-Lightweight Telescope

Gwyliwr: The Ultra-lightweight Telescope for Ground Imaging Applications

Gwyliwr (in English Watcher or Sentry ) is a special purpose ultra-lightweight telescope system designed to deliver high resolution images from high altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) platforms. The system is designed to meet the challenging mass and space envelope requirements and to endure the challenging environment that these applications demand.

Description

click to enlarge

The Gwyliwr V5 (Watcher) Ultra Lightweight Telescope has been designed to provide high resolution ISR capability from high altitudes, typically from a UAV or HAPS platform.

Designed to meet the challenging mass and space envelope requirements for a HAPS UAV; this variation is configured with a lightweighted 150mm F/2 primary mirror and carbon fibre vanes that provide minimum obscuration of the sensor array whilst maintaining the rigidity required.

The Gwyliwr V5 has been designed to operate at altitudes of up to 23km ( 76,000 ft) in temperatures as low as -40oC and to survive down to -70oC.

The V5 version of the system is equipped with a machine vision 9Mp visible spectrum camera.
With this sensor the Gwyliwr system provides vision over a field of view of 1.0 degree. From an altitude of 23Km it provides a swath of 313m x 251m at a resolution of 93mm per pixel.

Other sensor and system variations can be supplied. The system can be adapted to cover larger swath areas.

Application

Gwyliwr lightweight optical systems are designed for use in a range of EO applications including:

  • ISR ( Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance )
  • Wildfire Detection
  • Mapping and Surveying
  • Border Patrol

Adaptation

Gwyliwr V5 is the first in range of bespoke optical telescope systems designed and manufactured by Glyndŵr Innovations Ltd. Each system is designed to meet the customer’s mission requirements whether it is for airborne, space or ground based applications. Our aim is to provide the customer with a system delivering optimal performance for the task in hand.

Performance

To test optical performance a series of preflight tests have been completed using ground based visual targets. Seeing through atmosphere over distance is a challenge for all optical systems but one that proves the ability of the Gwyliwr system.

This image was taken of a transmitter mast 11.5km from the OpTIC building. The cables clearly seen in the image are 50mm in diameter, giving a good approximation of final results from high altitude.
System resolution is targeted at being 100mm from 23km.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Structure

Every aspect of the system has been reviewed to reduce the overall mass. The lightweighted primary mirror has its weight reduced by 80% by machining away areas on the back, leaving ribs to give the mirror mechanical strength. This lightweighting is achieved without affecting the optical quality of the the mirror. The rest of the structure is fabricated from a combination of carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium, each material being chosen for its strength and thermal compatibility.

The servo driven focus mechanism is also clearly visible. Whilst the complete structure is designed to be largely athermal, a focus mechanism is provided to accommodate other sensor payload and calibration.

The complete system has been subjected to a range of environmental tests to prove the integrity of the optical system, structure and active components in test chambers at the OpTIC centre and other test facilities.

Gimbal and Actuation

This diagram shows the movement of the gimbal mechanism. Each axis is driven by a servo control actuator, that can be sent position or motion commands via an RS485 communications link.

1. Left to right movement – allows ±30 degrees  of movement.

2. Fore/aft movement – allows ±30 degrees of movement.

3. Focusing mechanism – allows movement of sensor relative to the M2 mirror.

Specifications

Gwyliwr V5

Aperture………………………………………………………..150mm

Mass……………………………………………………………..<3Kg

Dimensions……………………………………………………370 x 290 x 150mm

Operating Temperature range…………………………. -40ºC to +30ºC

Survival Temperature range……………………………. -70ºC to +30ºC
Gimbal Movement

Fore/Aft…………………………………………………………. 30º

Side to Side…………………………………………………….. 30º

Sensor ……………………………………………………………Sony ICX814 Sensor (3376×2704 3.69μm pixels)

Operating Wavelength …………………………………….Visible (440nm to 650nm nominal)

Resolution Image Scale ……………………………………0.83 arc seconds per pixel (Sony ICX814 Sensor)

Ground Resolution at 23km Altitude ………………..93mm per pixel (Sony ICX814 Sensor)

Ground Swath at 23km Altitude………………………..313m x 251m

For different system requirements please consult Glyndwr Innovations Ltd .

 

Dimensions