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Proceedings Paper

Wide and fine pointing mechanism with flexible supports for optical intersatellite communications
Author(s): Kazuhiko Aoki; Hidehiko Kuroda; Satoshi Yashima; Akinori Satoh
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Paper Abstract

A wide and fine pointing mechanism (WFPM) composed of electromagnetic actuators and flexible supports has been developed for optical inter-satellite communications. It covers the whole of the scan area when it searches for the target satellite. The electromagnetic actuators, which consist of four moving-coil-type motors with long strokes, ensure a wide scan range. The flexible supports, which consist of a metal pivot and four thin springs, have vertical stiffness and rotational flexibility. Balancing the elasticity between the pivot and the thin springs fixes the center of rotation on the mirror surface to keep the beam path length constant. A digital control system is designed to drive the WFPM with gap sensor feedback. It has a two-degrees-of-freedom robust controller that incorporates a disturbance cancellation algorithm that cuts off low-frequency vibrations from the satellite body to achieve highly precise tracking. Experiments show that the WFPM has both a wide scanning range of over 8 degrees and a highly precise pointing capability that is accurate to within 30 microradians, for the case when only gap sensor feedback is used without quadrant detector feedback. These characteristics are suitable for high-speed switching over target satellites.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 April 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3615, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XI, (26 April 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.346184
Show Author Affiliations
Kazuhiko Aoki, NEC Corp. (Japan)
Hidehiko Kuroda, NEC Corp. (Japan)
Satoshi Yashima, NEC Corp. (Japan)
Akinori Satoh, NEC Corp. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3615:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XI
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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