Piezoelectric direct drive 3-axis highprecision gimbal

Charles Tschaggeny, M.S. University of Utah, January 2008

This projects designed, built, and tested a 3-axis gimbal whose three rotational axes are actuated by a novel drive system: linear piezoelectric motors whose linear output is converted to rotation by using drive disks. Advantages of this technology are: fast response, high accelerations, dither-free actuation and backlash-free positioning. The gimbal was developed to house a laser range finder for the purpose of tracking and guiding unmanned aerial vehicles during landing maneuvers. The tilt axis was built and the test results indicate excellent performance that meets design specifications.


C. Tschaggeny, W. Jones, E. Bamberg (2007). High performance piezoelectric actuated gimbal (HIERAX). In: Proc. 49th Annual Meeting of the Idaho Academy of Science, Idaho Falls, ID, April 19-21, 2007. Available at http://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/923493-SLWiCl/.

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