2 September 2015 Design and manufacturing considerations for high-performance gimbals used for land, sea, air, and space
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High performance stabilized EO/IR surveillance and targeting systems are in demand for a wide variety of military, law enforcement, and commercial assets for land, sea, air, and space. Operating ranges, wavelengths, and angular resolution capabilities define the requirements for EO/IR optics and sensors, and line of sight stabilization. Many materials and design configurations are available for EO/IR pointing gimbals depending on trade-offs of size, weight, power (SWaP), performance, and cost. Space and high performance military aircraft applications are often driven toward expensive but exceptionally performing beryllium and aluminum beryllium components. Commercial applications often rely on aluminum and composite materials. Gimbal design considerations include achieving minimized mass and inertia simultaneous with demanding structural, thermal, optical, and scene stabilization requirements when operating in dynamic operational environments. Manufacturing considerations include precision lapping and honing of ball bearing interfaces, brazing, welding, and casting of complex aluminum and beryllium alloy structures, and molding of composite structures. Several notional and previously developed EO/IR gimbal platforms are profiled that exemplify applicable design and manufacturing technologies.
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Mike Sweeney, Mike Sweeney, Lafe Redd, Lafe Redd, Tom Vettese, Tom Vettese, Ray Myatt, Ray Myatt, David Uchida, David Uchida, Del Sellers, Del Sellers, } "Design and manufacturing considerations for high-performance gimbals used for land, sea, air, and space", Proc. SPIE 9574, Material Technologies and Applications to Optics, Structures, Components, and Sub-Systems II, 957404 (2 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2189197; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2189197


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