Optical Inertial Reference Units Overview
Optical Inertial Reference Units (OIRUs) are at the heart of modern Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing (ATP) systems, and ATA has over 30 years experience solving the most challenging ATP problems through hardware and controls innovations. ATA develops and implements enabling component and system technology for both air and space programs such as the Airborne Laser, the Wide-Band Angular Vibration Experiment, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, Advanced Land Observing Satellite, and the Mars Laser Communications Demonstration. ATA’s unique combination of practical experience and patented component technologies has enabled us to build custom, high-performing OIRUs for our customers. For information on our recent success click here.
In general, ATA's OIRUs provide an inertially stabilized collimated optical beam with extremely low residual jitter when subject to typical ground, sea, air or space vibration environments. ATA OIRU custom products have advanced inertial sensors with low cross-axis and linear vibration sensitivity.
ATA continues to advance and add additional features to its OIRUs. Some of the advancements and additional features available include:--Space-Qualifiable Design
--Pyramid Sensor Head Allows Sensing in 3-Axis
--Flexible Processing Architecture
--Optional High Precision Gyros for a Broad
One of the immediate applications of this technology is in the context of an optical inertial reference unit for laser communication. In this application, the OIRU provides an optical reference beam (laser) for use as a precisely controlled “virtual star” that enables precise pointing and stabilization of the communication beam to be received at the opposite terminal of the transmit/receive link. ATA also recognizes the versatility of an OIRU and determined additional applications in which a precise, small, and low-cost optical inertial reference unit is an enabling technology. Examples include:
--Precise pointing and stabilization of large aperture passive and active imagers
--Precise autonomous control of position and attitude control of spacecraft
--Acquisition, tracking, and pointing of laser systems for target blinding and/or destruction
--Target designation and geo-location systems operating from aircraft, high altitude airships,