IMT and Freefly Systems reach new heights at AUVSI 2013

Freefly Systems has created the ultimate aerial platform.

Integrated Microwave Technologies, LLC (IMT), a Business Unit within the Vitec Group's Videocom Division, and a leader in advanced digital microwave systems for MAG (Military, Aerospace & Government) markets, is demonstrating the CineStar 8 multi-rotor camera platform developed by Freefly Systems, specialists in low-altitude aerial filming from remote helicopters, which integrates IMT's STx Compact HD/SD COFDM transmitter, at AUVSI 2013, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's Annual North American Symposium and Exposition (Booth 4112).


The CineStar 8 offers maximum payload and redundancy for heavy-lift aerial camera operations. Drawing on its vast experience in the areas of professional aerial cinematography, engineering and manufacturing, Freefly Systems has created the ultimate aerial platform. Freefly has invested extensive research and development in the CineStar product line to create a reliable and robust system for aerial video and photo professionals, allowing for longer flight times, heavier payloads and smoother footage.

Equipped with the IMT STx transmitter, the integrated CineStar 8 is ideal for a variety of UAV aerial applications, including homeland security, environmental protection, GIS, mapping and photogrammetry, industrial inspection and critical infrastructure surveillance, research and education, oil and gas pipeline inspection, geophysical exploration, land surveying and natural disaster monitoring and assessment.

"We are excited to showcase the integrated Freefly Systems CineStar UAV rotor-craft outfitted with IMT's transmission technology at AUVSI," says Integrated Microwave Technologies Divisional Chief Executive Stephen Shpock. "Freefly Systems' cutting-edge UAV helicopters and gimbals, along with IMT's expertise in transmission technology, have resulted in a complete video downlink solution that civilian and military law enforcement and first responders can rely on to get the images they need."

IMT's STx is the state-of-the-art in RF video transmission. It delivers HD/SD output at 200 mW minimum in 2k DVB-T COFDM mode. It occupies from 5.5 to 8 cubic inches, making it ideal for any covert or body-worn operations as well as UAV helicopter applications. It supports video/audio/data transmission with selectable modulation bandwidths of 6, 7, and 8 MHz. The STx is capable of 30-percent bit-rate reduction and video quality improvement compared to other encoders by using advanced features of the H.264 codec. For longer range requirements, the STx can output 200 mW and may be reduced to low power 20 mW with the simple press of a button. If using a single video stream, users can simply switch the STx into NBCOFDM (1.25 MHz/2.5 MHz) and increase the range without increasing RF power. The feature-rich STx incorporates a video test pattern generator that can be controlled externally, through the preset switch, or programmed to be enabled automatically when the video input is lost. The STx has an ASI input and output, providing the ability to stack or multiplex multiple units. It is capable of AES encryption, making it ideal for public security monitoring, covert surveillance, and other secure transmission applications. The STx has a clean and user-friendly local control panel. Its user interface allows quick control of preset selection, RF power, standby modes, and covert display mode. The STx requires minimal setup to use.

"A reliable HD video downlink solution is imperative for seeing the images that are being captured from our multi-rotor platforms, which is why we have found IMT's transmitter to be the ideal system for this application," says Mike Hagadorn, Freefly Systems. "IMT's video downlink transmitter is the only solution that is light enough to fly on these helicopters, has amazing range and provides 1080p HD images. Along with our MōVI Camera Stabilizer line, the STx allows users to see clearly in real-time."

Freefly Systems' MōVI MR is a cutting-edge multi-rotor 3-axis digital stabilized camera gimbal, so advanced, it redefines the possibilities for aerial camera movement. The heart of the gimbal is Freefly's proprietary high-performance IMU and brushless direct drive system. The gimbal is 100-percent custom designed in-house by Freefly Systems' engineering team. No compromises were made to accommodate off-the-shelf brushless motors, motor drives or IMUs. Creating the gimbal from scratch enabled Freefly to precisely execute its vision for the next generation of stabilized camera gimbals. In creating this camera gimbal, Freefly Systems aims to empower a new era of stabilized aerial cinematography.

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