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Proceedings Paper

Lightweight high-performance dual-axis gimbal for space applications
Author(s): Darryll J. Pines; Dennis B. Hakala; Richard Malueg
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the design, development and performance of a lightweight precision gimbal with dual-axis slew capability to be used in a closed-loop optical tracking system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory-LLNL. The motivation for the development of this gimbal originates from the need to acquire and accurately localize warm objects (T approximately equals 500 K) in a cluttered background. The design of the gimbal is centered around meeting the following performance requirements: Pointing Accuracy with control < 35 (mu) rad-(1-(sigma) ), Slew Capability > 0.2 rad/sec, Mechanical Weight < 5 kg. These performance requirements are derived by attempting to track a single target from multiple satellites in low Earth orbit using a mid-wave infrared camera. Key components in the gimbal hardware that are essential to meeting the performance objectives include a nickel plated beryllium mirro, an accurate lightweight capacitive pickoff device for angular measurement about the elevation axis, a 16-bit coarse/fine resolver for angular measurement about the azimuth axis, a toroidally wound motor with low hysteresis for providing torque about the azimuth axis, and the selection of beryllium parts to insure high stiffness to weight ratios and more efficient thermal conductivity. Each of these elements are discussed in detail to illustrate the design trades performed to meet the tracking and slewing requirements demanded. Preliminary experimental results are also given for various commanded tracking maneuvers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1995
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2468, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing IX, (26 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.210437
Show Author Affiliations
Darryll J. Pines, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
Dennis B. Hakala, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Richard Malueg, Richard Malueg, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2468:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing IX
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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