Roll Angle Estimation Using Thermopiles for a Flight Controlled Mortar
Rept. 18-23 Sep 2011
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD WEAPONS AND MATERIALS RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
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Although high cost guided missiles are a mature technology, low cost precision munitions is a new field with many technological challenges. One of these challenges is to find inexpensive sensors to replace expensive high-precision sensors that exist in traditional smart weapons. Thermopiles are low cost sensors that convert thermal energy into electrical energy. By using thermopiles to sense the difference in thermal energy between the ground and sky, the roll angle of a projectile can be determined. In July of 2011, the Army Research Labs conducted a flight test of an 81-mm Flight Controlled Mortar FCMortar equipped with four thermopile sensors. Roll angle was accurately estimated by processing the thermopile data with a Recursive Least Squares RLS filter implemented on a field programmable gate array FPGA. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using thermopiles on precision munitions for real-time roll angle estimation.
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods