Development and Characterization of Low Cost Seeker Technology for US Army Applications
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD WEAPONS AND MATERIALS RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
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The US Army Research Laboratory ARL is pursuing advanced seeker technologies for use with guided precision munitions under an Army Technology Objective ATO called Smaller, Lighter, Cheaper Munition Components SLCMC. Specifically, semi-active laser SAL seeker hardware, predicated upon highly affordable commercial COTS components, is being developed and experimentally characterized for use with both standard and notional laser target designators. Emphasis is on utilization of low cost component technology and techniques, where possible, without making significant sacrifices in system capability. The concept under development at ARL, is comprised of numerous custom analog and digital electronic circuits, a central microprocessor, a COTS quad-photo detector and a custom low cost optical lens unit. The resulting prototype layout is being packaged in a modular fashion on three circular printed circuit boards 60mm in diameter. Its output is designed to be integrated with other on-board high-g sensors to a guidance processor for the computation of dynamic vehicle state in real-time. The resulting guidance solution is then used to drive an embedded actuator control system, producing the required trajectory corrections. The system design and dynamic characteristics, including relevant control system analysis, are discussed through-out the paper and presentation. Although this effort was focused on the characteristics appropriate for gun-fire projectiles high-g survival, range, response time, etc. the technologies under development are applicable to a wide range of terminally guided munitions.
- Infrared Detection and Detectors
- Guided Munitions