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Design and implementation of an automatic followspot tracking system

Hay, T. and Weiss, S. (2004) Design and implementation of an automatic followspot tracking system. In: European DSP Education and Research Symposium, 2004-11-16.

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For stage lighting, follow spot systems are in general manually operated, and therefore both labour intensive and expensive. This paper describes a 3rd year project as part of an electronics degree at the University of Southampton, which aims to automate a followspot tracking systems. The technique chosen utilises a wearable belt pack for the actor, which contains a radio receiver for synchronisation and an ultrasound transmitter, whose signal can be picked up by various stationary receivers on the stage. From these signals, the transport delay is determined, permitting the calculation the exact position of the pack by triangulation. The minimum accuracy of the system is around 10cm.