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Proceedings Paper

A low-cost alternative to gyroscopes for tracking system stabilization
Author(s): Darren R. Laughlin
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Paper Abstract

Most tracking systems use gyroscopes of one form or another to help stabilize and control the line of sight (LOS) for the tracking sensor. Typically, the gyroscopes may be a significant part of the cost of the tracking system and may also require significant power which is often limited, especially for tactical applications. By optimally combining the tracking sensor's output with that from a magnetohydrodynamic angular motion sensor (MHD AMS), a tracking system platform can be stabilized to high bandwidths. The MHD AMS performs the same function as a gyroscope at high frequencies, but currently lacks capability to measure very low frequency inertial angular rates. This paper briefly reviews typical tracking systems using gyroscopes. Next, the basic characteristics and testbed capabilities of the MHD AMS are presented. Using the predicted MHD AMS noise and that expected from the tracking sensor, the pointing performance is estimated for several different applications. The MHD AMS has been designed in several versions which have different sensitivity and noise characteristics. Hence, a range of MHD AMS/tracking sensor combinations may be used to provide systems which fulfill a variety of pointing and tracking specifications. Cost and performance information is compared with those of typical gyroscopes used in a tracking system LOS stabilization application

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1990
Proc. SPIE 1304, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing IV, (1 September 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.2322193
Show Author Affiliations
Darren R. Laughlin, Applied Technology Associates (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1304:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing IV
Sankaran Gowrinathan, Editor(s)

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