Generation 1: the introduction of aerial imagery for ISR applications
Before the progression to digital, gimbals were all about analogue, with an analogue video path, gyro, control board and camera. This meant that Generation 1 gimbals were big, bulky and low quality.
Generation 2: the big leap in aerial imagery
Electrical and mechanical enhancements meant that gimbal development took a turn for the better. With the development of brushed motors and slip rings, gimbals could provide unlimited and continuous motion. An external IMU gave operators access to gimbal orientation information for improved situational awareness. Digital control boards were introduced to make gimbals respond more quickly to commands.
Generation 3: the focus on size, weight and power
As more companies became aware of the opportunities created by small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). More sUAS were manufactured and more lightweight ISR payloads were required. Generation 3 gimbals were produced in response to this demand, offering low SWaP systems. These gimbals offered better performance with HD digital video control. External video processing features such as KLV metadata, object tracking and HD video output provided mission-critical ISR capabilities.
Generation 4: meeting the standard
Generation 4 gimbals were designed with onboard video encoding h.264 to give improved video quality at low bit rates. Brushless motors were introduced to allow gimbals to respond quickly to external inputs, therefore providing better stabilisation and accuracy. IMU was internalised to reduce the size and weight of the gimbals, therefore meeting the payload requirements for UAVs that have strict weight allowances.
Generation 5: the best performance for the lowest SWaP
UAV Vision has now introduced Generation 5 camera systems to provide the highest performance for the lowest SWaP. Click here to find out about Generation 5 systems.