Software & Controllers

Software and ControllersFLIR Motion Control Systems pan-tilts are designed for computer control with high-performance two-way interfaces. All units provide serial pan-tilt control interface (RS-232 and/or RS-485). E Series units also provide Ethernet control interfaces. Both ASCII and binary format control protocols are supported. A high-performance C API/SDK is available for integrating control into a custom application. See the “Software” tab below for further information on the software interfaces.


A ruggedized joystick controller option is available for PTU-D47, PTU-D48E, PTU-D100E, and PTU-D300E models.


E Series models provide a built-in web interface for simple configuration and control of pan-tilts from a web browser.


E Series pan-tilts also have built-in support for the Pelco-D protocol providing compatibility with many standard 3rd party applications and hardware joystick/controllers.


FLIR MCS pan-tilts can be controlled as follows:

  • Simple ASCII commands sent from a custom program over serial or Ethernet
  • Simple ASCII commands typed into a terminal program and sent over serial or Ethernet
  • Binary commands send from the PTU-SDK
  • Web interface – web browser access to built-in pages for configuration and simple control
  • 3rd party software applications that support Pelco-D, or native MCS protocol (e.g, FLIR Sensors Manager, LabVIEW, others)
  • Any host software or device supporting Pelco-D
  • Video trackers that have been qualified with FLIR MCS pan-tilts (contact sales for details)
  • Rugged joystick control (PTU-DCJ)



FLIR MCS pan-tilts are designed for high-performance control with low-latency and jitter and high command rates. There are multiple ways to control the units. FLIR MCS pan-tilts support both a simple ASCII command protocol, documented in the E Series Command Reference Manual as well as a binary form of the commands, supported by a portable C language library (PTU-SDK). 


The PTU-SDK is provided as source code and can be compiled on any computing platform. It allows applications to send commands to the pan-tilt over serial or Ethernet interfaces seamlessly.


Features of the PTU-SDK include:

  • Support for all pan/tilt commands including ISM, GPM
  • High performance (>300 commands/second)
  • Portable C code interface with wrappers for C#
  • Support for compilation on target platform including Windows (MinGW, Visual Studio 2008), and Linux (GNU toolchain)
  • Same application interface for serial and Ethernet control
  • Embedded-friendly: small resource footprint
  • Supports connections to multiple pan/tilts from one application
  • Comprehensive HTML documentation guides developers through building and using the SDK.
  • Fully framed, sequenced, CRC support for reliable and robust communications

Software Development Kit Datasheet

For legacy units and PTU-D46/47 models:
C API Datasheet