Dr. James M. Hilkert
President at Alpha-Theta Technologies
SPIE Involvement:
Senior status | Conference Program Committee | Author | Instructor
Area of Expertise:
Control Systems design , line-of-sight pointing , Line-of-sight gyro stabilization & control , mirror stabilization / pointing , automatic tracking systems , precision electro-mechanical design
Profile Summary

Founder (1994) of Alpha-Theta Technologies which is a consulting company specializing in precision line-of-sight control applications. Capabilities include control system & filter design, system configuration, gyro & sensor specification, motor / actuator specification, Matlab / Simulink system analysis & simulation, and precision mechanism and electronics design support. Major clients include Raytheon, Northrop Grummen, General Dynamics, DRS, Atlantic Positioning and the U.S. Navy (NRL and NAWC).

Previously employed (20 yrs) by Texas Instruments Defense Systems (now Raytheon) where he managed the Control Systems Technology Center consisting of 25+ senior engineers and an inertial navigation lab which supported the development of over 100 surviellance, target tracking and missile guidance systems. Earlier provided systems engineering and design development engineering on a variety of gimballed mass and mirror line-of-sight control systems.

Teaches SPIE 160 (see below) and is currently a part-time instructor at the University of Texas at Dallas where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in control systems.
Publications (11)

PROCEEDINGS ARTICLE | June 9, 2014
Proc. SPIE. 9076, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications XI
KEYWORDS: Actuators, Mirrors, Imaging systems, Sensors, Control systems, Distortion, Kinematics, Optical testing, Line of sight pointing, Mirror stabilization

PROCEEDINGS ARTICLE | May 31, 2013
Proc. SPIE. 8713, Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Systems and Applications X
KEYWORDS: Unmanned aerial vehicles, Imaging systems, Cameras, Sensors, Video, Linear filtering, Gyroscopes, Environmental sensing, Line of sight stabilization, Fiber optic illuminators

PROCEEDINGS ARTICLE | May 13, 2011
Proc. SPIE. 8052, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXV
KEYWORDS: Actuators, Error analysis, Amplifiers, Control systems, Linear filtering, Thulium, Gyroscopes, Control systems design, Line of sight stabilization, Systems modeling

PROCEEDINGS ARTICLE | May 13, 2010
Proc. SPIE. 7696, Automatic Target Recognition XX; Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIV; and Optical Pattern Recognition XXI
KEYWORDS: Control systems, Telecommunications, Structural analysis, Modal analysis, Finite element methods, Servomechanisms, Structural design, Control systems design, Structural dynamics, Systems modeling

PROCEEDINGS ARTICLE | May 4, 2009
Proc. SPIE. 7338, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIII
KEYWORDS: Mirrors, Reflection, Sensors, Control systems, Kinematics, Transducers, Gyroscopes, Motion measurement, Line of sight stabilization, Mirror stabilization

PROCEEDINGS ARTICLE | March 25, 2008
Proc. SPIE. 6971, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXII
KEYWORDS: Imaging systems, Sensors, Control systems, Kinematics, Electroluminescence, Servomechanisms, Gyroscopes, Control systems design, Line of sight stabilization, Device simulation

Showing 5 of 11 publications
Conference Committee Involvement (6)
Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXVI
23 April 2012 | Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXV
25 April 2011 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIV
5 April 2010 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIII
14 April 2009 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXII
20 March 2008 | Orlando, Florida, United States
Showing 5 of 6 published special sections
Course Instructor
SC160: Precision Stabilized Pointing and Tracking Systems
This course provides a practical description of the design, analysis, integration, and evaluation processes associated with development of precision stabilization, pointing and tracking systems. Major topics include stabilized platform technology, electro-mechanical system configuration and analysis, and typical pointing and tracking system architectures.
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