Improving the accuracy and speed of tracking and motion stabilisation systems

Sharp, Samuel John (2013) Improving the accuracy and speed of tracking and motion stabilisation systems. (MSc(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


This dissertation presents the work carried out and results from a project looking to develop and improve the performance of two-axis motorised camera systems. These systems are used in the defence industry for force protection and border control in the land, maritime and airborne markets. Firstly, the various technical challenges that must be overcome to provide a good performance of such a system operating in harsh environmental conditions are discussed. The aims and objectives of the research project are then presented; followed by a mini-project which was carried out as an introduction to research methods. This mini-project looked at measuring the stresses in a supporting beam for a radar system which provided familiarisation with the hardware and software that was to be used for the remainder of the project. A complete simulation model of the camera system being modelled is then presented including discussion of harmonic drive gear models, sensors and friction. The results from work carried out to fit the model to the physical system are also included and the model was shown to be a good representation of the physical system. An evaluation of various controllers was carried out on an experimental test rig to compare them against a number of key performance metrics such as the end of roll glitch effect in stabilised systems. From this evaluation it was decided that, due to the high friction in the drive units, a friction compensation algorithm should be used. This algorithm is discussed and the results from its implementation were shown to reduce the end of roll glitch by approximately 50%, showing a significant improvement over the traditional control scheme. These results were confirmed on the physical system. Finally, conclusions from the research are drawn and recommendations for areas of further work are discussed.

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