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Stabilized thermal imager camera 2ST640-ML

Stabilized thermal imager camera
2ST640-ML

Stabilized thermal imager camera 2ST640-S

Stabilized thermal imager camera
2ST640-S

Stabilized long-range searchlight SST-N

Stabilized long-range searchlight
SST-N

Stabilized multisensor night vision camera CTI640-D2/L/ML

Stabilized multisensor camera
CTI640-D2/L/ML

Stabilized medium-range searchlight SST-W

Stabilized medium-range searchlight
SST-W

History and Nowadays of Gyroscopic Stabilization

gyroscope

Classical gyroscope

Early Beginnings of the Gyroscope

The gyroscope, a critical sensor for measuring and controlling a body’s orientation and rotational velocity, has its roots in the early 17th century. Originally, spinning mass objects were sporadically used for navigation. The concept was formally developed by French scientist Jean Bernard Leon Foucault in 1852.

Expansion to Maritime and Aerial Applications

By the late 18th century, gyroscopes found broader applications, notably in maritime navigation. Entering the 20th century, these devices began to play a pivotal role in aircraft navigation, marking a significant advancement in their use.

Optical Lasers and the Advent of MEMS

The 1960s introduced a revolutionary concept: optical lasers in gyroscopes. Two beams from a laser are injected into the same fibre but in opposite directions. Due to the Sagnac effect, the beam traveling against the rotation experiences a slightly shorter path delay than the other beam. The resulting differential phase shift is measured through interferometry, thus translating one component of the angular velocity into a shift of the photometrically-phased interference pattern. This innovation enhanced precision in aerospace and military applications but came with higher costs. This spurred the development of Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) vibrating gyroscopes, which offered reduced fabrication costs while maintaining high sensitivity and a substantial scale factor.

Optical gyro

Optical fiber gyroscope

Gyroscopes in Contemporary Life

In modern times, gyroscopes have permeated our daily lives, especially in smart devices used for tracking and navigation, such as mobile phones, smartwatches, and vehicles. These devices typically feature inertial measurement units (IMUs), which integrate multiple inertial sensors, including gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers, each based on different scientific principles.

MEMS gyro

MEMS gyroscope

The Rise and Evolution of MEMS Gyroscopes

MEMS gyroscopes have dramatically increased usage over the last two decades. Initially, only a few research groups focused on this area, but by the early 2000s, interest surged, leading to diverse and practical designs in MEMS vibrating gyroscopes. Despite their advancements, these gyroscopes still face challenges, particularly maintaining stability and reliability in adverse conditions.

Beyond Gyroscopes: Embracing AHRS

To achieve optimal stabilization, merely using gyroscopes is insufficient. This led to the development of Attitude and Heading Reference Systems (AHRS), which consist of three-axis sensors providing comprehensive attitude information, thus forming a 9 Degrees of Freedom (DOF) system. AHRS differ from IMUs in that they include an onboard processing system, delivering direct attitude and heading information.

AHRS in Modern Systems

AHRS systems are especially prevalent in the aviation industry, particularly in commercial and business aircraft. These systems are often integrated with electronic flight instrument systems (EFIS) to form the primary flight display in glass cockpits. They can also be combined with air data computers to create Air Data, Attitude, and Heading Reference Systems (ADAHRS), offering additional flight information. As AHRS units are now more compact, they can be integrated into various products, including our thermal cameras and searchlights.

AHRS

AHRS

Advanced Stabilization Techniques

Now, using AHRS, we have input to understand the device’s movement, momentum, and position angles; we have to use this signal to correct the movements and counteract them so our thermal camera or searchlight will always keep itself at a preset position. This needs extremely fast, immediate output to the mechanical system, as there must be no oscillations, vibrations, or d deviations.
For that, we use, as final actuators, brushless, outrunner 3-phase neodymium motors, which are specially designed to output large torque and instant movement. Like ordinary motors, these do not rotate and transfer the momentum with gears or belts but just perform small movements at the same angle as the outer system to compensate for the movements.
As a result, we get a precision of 0,001 degrees and 1000Hz frequency for correcting the angles.
Also, this system allows us to achieve very fast movements- for example, if we need to track some moving objects or move the camera or searchlight to the desired direction/point.
And, what is very important as well: we do not use gears, belts, or some other mechanical transmission, which can generate backlash and wear parts.

Using state-of-the-art electronic components, MEMS gyros, AHRS systems, and outrunner 3-phase neodymium motors without transmission, we will get the best stabilization results, correct up to 0.001 degrees at 1000 Hz. And the whole system is maintenance-free, unbreakable, and reliable without any parts that can wear and can need replacements.
Once exclusive to aviation, this technology now sets a new standard across our applications, offering a maintenance-free, durable system without any wear-prone parts. This unique technology represents the zenith of gyroscopic stabilization in the modern era.

3-phase neodymium actuator

3-phase nedymium actuator

GET IN TOUCH

Ready to experience the Strixmarine difference? Contact us to order, get more information, see our products and product demos, or discuss your specific needs. Our team is ready to help you enhance your night vision capabilities with our state-of-the-art systems.

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