Controls Systems Expertise
Control system design, analysis and simulation is at the heart of product development for many products.
IJK Controls provides innovative solutions for stabilization, pointing and tracking of cameras, sensors and antennas. Our ability to rapidly leverage existing gyro stabilized gimbal and beam steering designs into new programs enables customer success in aviation, defense and entertainment. Our creative engineering staff loves new challenges and our AS9100/ISO9001 certified manufacturing team delivers hardware to the highest quality standards.
We have existing code and proven libraries for components such as stabilization, geo-referenced pointing, navigation integration, tracking control and target state estimation. We leverage this existing software and create new modules as needed for real-time control. Some of these control loops run up to 10 kHz and higher for motor control. We combine low latency, low-level control on the same processor that is handling the slower control loops and mode management.
Gimbal Mechanism Design
Our gimbal mechanism design team has experience with every type of gimbal architecture imaginable. Some products are protected by an environmentally sealed cover (such as a missile seeker dome and some antenna radomes), meaning the gimbal does not provide environmental sealing. Other gimbals have rotating axes that are directly exposed to the environment, requiring an appropriate approach to sealing. Some high performance systems have an “inner gimbal” that moves over limited field of regarding with coarse pointing provided by an “outer gimbal.” Beyond these classic gimbal architectures, IJK Controls has designed stabilization and pointing systems that make use of precisely controlled mirrors.
In addition to the gimbal mechanism (bearing, motors, sealing, encoders, structure), IJK Controls integrates closely with related optical components, such as detectors, telescopes, coolers, amplifiers, etc. The optomechanical design is often integrated with the gimbal design to meet stabilization and pointing goals. We have designed gimbals that provide a coudé path and relay the optics to an off-gimbal sensor or source. The design of the coudé path mounting, alignment and adjustment is tightly coupled to the overall mechanism design. For precision pointing and tracking the optomechanical error sources must be considered alongside the servo and controls related error sources.
Circuit Board Design
IJK Controls has designed dozens of application-specific circuit boards that provide high performance closed loop control in the most demanding of environments. We have a legacy of servo electronics design that integrate sensing and actuation of three phase motors and fast steering mirrors. We design circuit boards that connect analog front ends to ruggedized DSP and FPGAs while meeting requirements EMI/EMC, lightning strike, etc. These custom board sets allow compact controls solutions. Where possible, we make use of existing circuit boards. For rapid prototyping, we leverage an existing set of servo and system electronics that have also been deployed in low volume production programs. We design tiny servo controllers (square inch) up to controllers for large (kilowatt) motors. Our servo amplifiers and motor controllers offer extremely low latency and high bandwidth, enabling stabilization and pointing control far beyond COTS offerings. We can also optimize for particular performance needs such as efficiency, thermal performance or even reduction of audible noise.
IJK Controls builds and test products for a variety of markets. Our manufacturing team and base of specialized suppliers is experienced meeting aggressive schedules with utmost attention to detail and quality. Thanks to years of AS9100 and ISO9001 certification, we usually can become an approved supplier to aviation, defense and commercial customers. We deliver each product with a Certificate of Conformance and keep meticulously detailed build records.
Our team rapidly puts together solutions for flight testing of new technologies. Our open frame gimbals can be used to flight test new imaging and antenna technologies, without paying for an entire gimbal system or expensive integration. We can support application specific needs such as roll stabilization, geo-referenced pointing, step-stare, moving target tracking, etc. We have flown payloads on a variety of manned fixed wing and rotary wing vehicles, including Twin Otter, Grand Caravan, Bell 407, AS350, etc. In every case the customer was able to get the data and confidence they needed.
IJK Controls provides a comprehensive training class in line-of-sight stabilization, pointing and tracking. This class can be tailored to a particular customer’s interest. ITAR and non-ITAR versions are available. In addition to general training, we have also provided program-specific training, helping engineers, technicians and managers understand the component technologies, fundamental limitations and troubleshooting steps. Contact us for information and a sample syllabus.
We are commited to providing the best customer service.
Call, email, or use our contact form to speak with a program manager. We are eager to learn about your challenge for us.