An Inverse-Kinematic Approach to Dual-Stage Servo Control for an Optical Pointing System

SPIE Photonics West

By: Eric D. Miller

Abstract

In free-space optical communication systems, narrow beam diameters necessitate precision pointing over a relatively wide field of regard. Control systems with such large dynamic range requirements sometimes employ multi-stage architectures, where a “coarse” mechanism provides low-bandwidth control over a large range of travel, and a “fine” mechanism provides high-bandwidth disturbance rejection over a limited range of travel. In such systems, the two stages must be coordinated in their dynamic response, so as to avoid undesirable coupling and even interference with each other. This topic has been studied in various literature – especially in the field of hard disk drives, but also for optical pointing systems. However, most of this literature considers systems where the output of the two stages combines by simple linear sum. Dual-stage control becomes even more challenging when the two stages combine via nonlinear kinematic relationships, as they would in an optical pointing system employing multiple gimbaled steering mirrors. This paper presents an approach for handling these nonlinear kinematic effects, and demonstrates the viability of this approach via simulation.