Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



1994 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.


OPTICAL ENGINEERING / April 1994 / Vol. 33 No. 4


A new platform stabilization approach is described where miature, low-cost, linear accelerometers are used (instead of gyroscopes) for line-of-sight (LOS) stabilization. This is accomplished by placing the accelerometers at strategic locations and combining their outputs so that angular motion is determined from linear acceleration measurements. The control system uses the sensed angular accelerations to generate movement commands for the gimbal servomotors in the stabilization platform. This counterrotates the imaging device to stabilize its LOS. The use of accelerometers allows the servo system to operate in an acceleration control mode, which is more desirable than position or velocity control modes, typical of gyro-based systems, since this increases stabilization bandwidth. Substituting gyros with accelerometers provides the additional benefits of lower sensor cost, weight, and power consumption, better temperature characteristics, more robustness, and higher shock resistance.