Hi Hal That is quite a project and sounds really interesting.
Since you have been here and for a couple days, was it possibly on a cruise ship? Most of the 190 major cruise ship port calls in the summer come for 2 or 3 days. If it was a cruise ship we may have met without knowing it. I am in the business of providing tours for cruise ship passengers who arrive each summer by the hundreds of thousands...quite a change from my long career in the music recording industry.
I moved here 6 years ago and seldom go back to my house in Marin County, just north from San Francisco, 3 times in 6 years. I have a ton, literally, we weighed it thinking I could ship it over here, of test gear, mostly HP, Tek, Motorola, Sound Technology, and much more sitting in a storage unit in California. I've brought over what I can fit in my suitcases each time I've returned, leaving out any clothes.
One thing you could really use in exploring the CLS light pulse train is an Arbatrary Waveform Generator. When you think you are close, program the generator to create the same pattern and test it in a reproducible convenient way. To bad I won't be back for months because I could get one out of storage and loan it to you.
Do you think there is a modulation scheme that involved amplitude? One post mentioned that, but I would bet against it in such a noisy path with so many reflections and ghost paths. It would be hard to tell until finer looks are seen into a single burst to see what it is made of. My hunch is that it is a simple pulse position coding without getting too fancy. There is not that much data to send and it is not that fast of a data rate. Next time I have access to some more of my gear I will try to dissect a burst to see what is inside the envelope you displayed so well in the photos. I am amazed that hand panning could have such a constant interval between events, that must have taken a lot of practice or you just have a steady hand. A local community college or university might have an electronics club that has donated gear from manufacturers. That might be a source of enthusiastic helpers who just happen to have DSO and Arb Generator needed to inspect the pulses and then test the theory by controlling the slaves with a programmed coding of what you find using the ArbGen. If that code was data stream secret was broken, there could be lots of DIY projects that could take the lighting system to the next level. Maybe doing the adjustments as discussed for multiple light sources on the target, or repeaters or computer control of the whole works for specialized requirements just like what you are working with now. It would also allow same channel individual control of any number of flashes using RF spread spectrum techniques that would open up all sorts of possibilities.
All very interesting..... Good luck with your sequenced shot project...