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Proceedings Paper

Strapdown optical stabilization system for EO sensors on moving platforms
Author(s): Arnott Hamilton
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Paper Abstract

The need to stabilize the line-of-sight of EO sensors and lasers on moving platforms has been satisfied by mechanical systems using the directional gyro technique. However such systems that use mirror or prism line-of-sight steering, stabilize in only 2-axes, have limited elevation steering range and require skilled fabrication. The use of the strapdown technique puts the functional control into software and offers improved functionality, e.g. 3-axis stabilization, absolute directional reference, simple mechanical design and low cost assembly. The main criticisms have been the extensive computation of space transformation algorithms and reliance on the precision of transducers. Until the present, the powerful real-time processing resources demanded by this technique for EO sensor applications have not been available in sufficiently compact and low cost form, although systems have been produced for radar antennae and direct view optics with inferior stability. Pilkington Optronics has studied various stabilization systems and has determined that with emerging technology, the strapdown technique is now feasible and desirable for many high performance applications. Accordingly, we have developed a 3-axis strapdown optical stabilization system, initially for a Submarine Optronics Mast, but readily applicable to vehicle sights and other moving platform applications. The system involves inertial sensing by fiber-optic gyros, processing by multiple digital signal processors and opto-mechanical steering by 2-axis gimballed prism plus optical de-rotator mechanism. The successful operation in terms of image stability has required the use of precise algorithms, advanced digital servo control and rigorous modellization of gyro's and resolvers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 August 1996
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 2774, Design and Engineering of Optical Systems, (23 August 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.246711
Show Author Affiliations
Arnott Hamilton, Pilkington Electronics (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2774:
Design and Engineering of Optical Systems
Joseph J. M. Braat, Editor(s)

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