Available Technology

Ball joint gimbal system

A ball joint gimbal system which provides for a precise line-of-sight stabilization of a gimballed mirror that rides on a ball and its associated support structure. The mirror is positioned by four braided lines. The brained lines are driven by four servo motor with each servo motor being coupled to one of four capstan shafts. Each of the braided lines is wound around one of the four capstan shafts. The braided lines are positioned by optical shaft encoders. The low inertia of the gimballed mirror and the positioning of the mirror by the braided lines result in an extremely accurate and fast scanning optical pointing system. Inertial gimbal stabilization of the line of sight to a target is by a stabilization algorithm utilizing body rate information from body sensors which are components of the missile for providing autopilot and navigation functions for the missile.

William S. Wight, Donald G. Quist, Steve J. Koerner, Carl M. Zorzi

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
January 4, 2002
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