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Proceedings Paper

Digital control of the high-altitude balloon experiment auto-alignment system
Author(s): Marcus R. Schulthess; Steven Baugh
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Paper Abstract

The High Altitude Balloon Experiments (HABE) control architecture design focuses on establishing an inertial stabilized line-of-sight (LOS) for the tracking and laser pointing subsystems. High bandwidth LOS stabilization is implemented with an inertial reference measurement system. The Inertial Pseudo Star Reference Unit (IPSRU), and inertially stabilized two degree of freedom platform, generates an inertially stabilized alignment reference beam which probes the multiple aperture system. Fast steering mirrors (FSM) in optical alignment loops track the alignment reference beam performing jitter stabilization and boresight alignment. The auto alignment system operates in the primary aperture beam path, stabilizing the fine tracking sensor imagery and surrogate high energy laser pointing subsystem. Due to the superior performance of the IPSRU stabilization platform, aggregate LOS stabilization system base motion and optical jitter rejection is directly traceable to the auto alignment system control dynamics and sensor noise performance. Performance requirements specify two axis FSM control bandwidths of 500 Hz with a positioning resolution better that 300 nano-radians in output space. The digital control law is implemented in high performance digital processors with sample rates in excess of 15 kHz. This paper presents the bench top integration and testing of the digital auto alignment system beginning with a discussion as to the reason behind choosing a digital implementation, a opposed to a much simple analog implementation. A description of the error budget requirements of the HABE digital auto alignment loop follows. The components comprising the auto alignment loop, including mirror and processor hardware and software are described. Experimental objectives are presented with a description of the laboratory setup. Simulation models are constructed from component test data to aid in the development of the alignment system control architecture and discrete time control law realizations. The experimental data and methods for testing of the real time implementation used to optimize the controller design and evaluate auto alignment system performance are discussed. The paper concludes with lessons learned and a discussion of future HABE program work concerning LoS stabilization and the implementation of high bandwidth digital control system architecture.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1995
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2468, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing IX, (26 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.210432
Show Author Affiliations
Marcus R. Schulthess, Air Force Phillips Lab. (United States)
Steven Baugh, Applied Technology Associates, 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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