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Testing and Validation of Timing Properties for High Speed Digital Cameras - A Best Practices Guide

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Technical Report

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Range Commanders Council White Sands Missile Range United States

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The accuracy of time stamps in high-speed digital imagery is critically important to weapons systems development and motion analysis of virtually all transient test events however, the receipt, processing, and appropriate application of IRIG-based timing signals has proven to be one of the greatest challenges facing commercial camera manufacturers. Likewise, many OSG member organizations have struggled with developing robust test procedures for characterizing and documenting the timing properties of new camera systems and validating the advertised specifications claimed by vendors. The OSG took on task OS-37 in response to these issues. The task objective was to identify, recommend, and document accepted procedures for measuring the timing accuracy of high-speed digital cameras using LED-based strobe devices like the Lab DITCS. The resulting best practices guide would suggest general test methodologies and provide detailed operational procedures for existing systems such as the Lab DITCS. It would also describe data collection, reduction, and analysis techniques that ensure optimal interpretation of measurement results. This document provides a best practices guide for measuring timestamp error in high-speed digital video collected at the Major Range and Test Facility Bases. It outlines steps for configuring test equipment, calibrating precision time code reference clocks, and collecting high-speed time stamped imagery for error analysis.

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