In my quest for ever better photos of launches, I have decided to take on a gimbal DSLR camera mount and rocket tracker project. It would have standoff detection of rocket launch and track the rocket for the first 1000 feet. I plan to initially use a 28mm lens at about 50 feet standoff. Eventually I would like to work automated track and slew. Finally, tie in zoom control of a DSLR with a telephoto, but that is a ways down the road. I would use a raspberri pi for the computer/controller. I figure this would be in several phases. 1) Build camera gimbal I found this wonderful gimbal on thinguniverse https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3375167 I probably need to beef up the plastic gears with metal ones. I estimate the initial vertial slew rate is going to be 30 deg/se to 60 deg/s. 2) Create liftoff detection and use canned slew profiles. Collect data and develop tracking algorithms. I could use the Lightware SF30 range finder. This has a high update rate and a 50 meter range. I could either point it at a fin, or just about the launch rail. Adafruit has an 8x8 pixel IR camera, but I don't know if it has has the range. I could use a blow torch at 50 feet as a surrogate. Also, the update rate is not great (10/s). 3) Incorporate tracking algorithms. There are some good open source video analytics packages - openCV, Processing, etc. 4) Work on DSLR zoom This will keep me out of trouble for the next year. Ideas and comments welcome.