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Development and control of a 3-axis stabilised platform

Bredenkamp, Adolf Friedrich Ludwig (2007-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The successful control of a three-degree-of-freedom gyroscope is presented for the application of steering and stabilising a platform mounted underneath an airship. The end goal is to stabilise a camera for earth observation purposes. The development of the necessary electronics, sensors and actuators along with the hardware and software to interface these components are presented. This include DC drives, torque control systems for the gimbal motors and a speed control system for the gyroscope as well as platform angle and angular rate sensors. A mathematical model for the gyroscope, based on Euler's equations of motion, is presented. Non-linear simulations are performed and compared to measurements of the plant's behaviour to step torque commands to determine the parameters of the gyroscope. Pole placement and LQR optimal control methods are considered in the design of a MIMO controller to steer the platform in the elevation plane, along with a PI controller to steer the platform in the azimuth plane. Ground tests display the success of the steering controllers.

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