Cable Supported Stabilized Camera

Stabilized camera

At sporting events, getting as close to the action as possible without interfering with the athletes is the goal. Video cameras suspended by cables allow the audience to feel like they are on the field without disturbing the competitors. This application has strong commercial value since a more exciting telecast will draw a larger viewing audience.

For optimal quality, a vertical reference system is required that is stable and capable of holding the camera level even during accelerations and cable oscillations generated by the wind or other causes.

Watson Industries produces sensor packages that work very well in this application. Our VRS line of vertical references has a proven track record of accurate level sensing even while under acceleration.

Watson Experience

Watson Industries been involved in the development and production of vertical reference products for gyro stabilized cameras since 1990.

Applicable Products

Technical Challenges

A camera suspended by cables is very susceptible to oscillations whether they are generated by the wind or by changing the camera’s position. This makes it very difficult to keep the camera stabilized and level, because the dynamics of the application are better compensated for by a long time constant, but removing these errors quickly requires a short one.

This problem is overcome with Watson Industries proprietary data processing algorithms and our variable time constant settings. The Watson VRS line of vertical references is a microprocessor based system that is capable of changing the time constant of the system depending on the current situation of the camera. This allows us to effectively compensate for the dynamics of a cable supported camera while at the same time keeping errors from entering the system.

The size, weight and power consumption of the stabilizing device is also a very important part of being successful in this application. Watson Industries always strives to keep our sensor packages as small and light as possible while maintaining the high accuracy our customers expect. Our sensors have very low power draw as well.


  • Level: ±0.3°
  • Weight: Less than 2 lbs.
  • Power: Less than 4 Watts

Typical Options

We are able to accommodate your custom needs. Go to our custom product modifications page for a listing of the most common custom options we support.

Custom options for this application:

  • Velocity input: To better compensate for dynamics, velocity can be input through use of GPS or an analog tachometer.