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Proceedings Paper

Design and manufacturing considerations for high-performance gimbals used for land, sea, air, and space
Author(s): Mike Sweeney; Lafe Redd; Tom Vettese; Ray Myatt; David Uchida; Del Sellers
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Paper Abstract

High performance stabilized EO/IR surveillance and targeting systems are in demand for a wide variety of military, law enforcement, and commercial assets for land, sea, air, and space. Operating ranges, wavelengths, and angular resolution capabilities define the requirements for EO/IR optics and sensors, and line of sight stabilization. Many materials and design configurations are available for EO/IR pointing gimbals depending on trade-offs of size, weight, power (SWaP), performance, and cost. Space and high performance military aircraft applications are often driven toward expensive but exceptionally performing beryllium and aluminum beryllium components. Commercial applications often rely on aluminum and composite materials. Gimbal design considerations include achieving minimized mass and inertia simultaneous with demanding structural, thermal, optical, and scene stabilization requirements when operating in dynamic operational environments. Manufacturing considerations include precision lapping and honing of ball bearing interfaces, brazing, welding, and casting of complex aluminum and beryllium alloy structures, and molding of composite structures. Several notional and previously developed EO/IR gimbal platforms are profiled that exemplify applicable design and manufacturing technologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 September 2015
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9574, Material Technologies and Applications to Optics, Structures, Components, and Sub-Systems II, 957404 (2 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2189197
Show Author Affiliations
Mike Sweeney, General Dynamics-Global Imaging Technologies (United States)
Lafe Redd, General Dynamics-Global Imaging Technologies (United States)
Tom Vettese, General Dynamics-Global Imaging Technologies (United States)
Ray Myatt, General Dynamics-Global Imaging Technologies (United States)
David Uchida, General Dynamics-Global Imaging Technologies (United States)
Del Sellers, General Dynamics-Global Imaging Technologies (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9574:
Material Technologies and Applications to Optics, Structures, Components, and Sub-Systems II
Matthias Krödel; Joseph L. Robichaud; William A. Goodman, Editor(s)

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