Linear Signal is an RF/microwave antenna company developing electronically steered array antennas for satellite communications. In order to produce an in-motion satellite antenna (such as one on an airliner or boat), they needed a platform that would insure that the array stayed level with the horizon at all times. Linear Signal also required the platform to be low cost and low maintenance.
The team designed a modified double gimbal array stabilization platform that has the unique ability to keep all platform structures out of the array’s line of sight during stabilization (see the down-swept, curved bars for the outer gimbal). It was also designed to actuate around pivot points that were very closely located to the platform’s centers of gravity and mass. This reduces acceleration impacts, mechanical requirements and cost to build and operate.
The two pivots allow the array to compensate for any 40 degree pitch or roll that the array may experience common to the platform vehicle’s motion. The motorized stabilization is controlled by an IMU (or Inertial Measurement Unit) that senses and measures changes in movement and sends data to a control unit programmed to operate the motors.
Current marine and aero stabilization platforms on the market can cost upwards of $100,000, whereas the product designed by the team would cost less than $5,000.
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