Tracking aircraft

Using two pan-tilt cameras, SciTrackS measured the 3D positions of airplanes landing and taking off at Zurich Airport. These measurements were performed as part of the sonAIR project of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) between 2012 and 2016. 

The pan-tilt cameras are mounted on rigid stands about 1km apart, controlled by a local PC station. At first, the cameras point to the expected arrival point. When the air craft is detected (red annulus) it is autonomously tracked with a close-up image. As the aircraft approaches, the camera zooms out and adapts its pan-tilt angles to hold the aircraft in view. The images of both stations are transmitted to a control station.
Autonomous measuring station with the pan-tilt camera mounted in a weather proof case on a rigid stand (front) and a tent holding the PC.