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21 November 1996 Solar tracking system with linear regression error correction
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A motor driven two-axis mount combined with PC-based solar position and correction software provides highly accurate tracking of the sun. The system includes ta two-axis mount driven by servo motors with optical encoder position indication; servo amplifiers; a personal computer equipped with a two-axis motor controller; software for calculating solar position; and error correction software. The optical encoders have a resolution of 0.1 arcseconds per step, and the solar position software agrees to within 1.25 arcminutes with US Naval Observatory calculations of solar position. The error correction software applies linear regression via singular value decomposition to a series of manual tracking corrections. The regression creates a best-fit compensation for misalignment of the mount. Tests with simulated random correction errors show that the correction algorithm can achieve accuracy within two times the standard deviation of the manual correction errors. This accuracy was maintained following final manual correction for test periods as long as 54 hours. Various tracking options allow the user to scan repeatedly across the solar disc, track a position offset from the sun, or reflect the solar image into another instrument.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Norman Wood, Stephen Cox, and Chris Cornwall "Solar tracking system with linear regression error correction", Proc. SPIE 2832, Optical Instruments for Weather Forecasting, (21 November 1996);

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