Automatic Control Implementation and Upgraded Electrical System Design for the Oculus 2.0 Sensor Platform 2007-01-3874
The Oculus sensor deployment platform research and development was conducted by the Center for Industrial Research Applications (CIRA) at West Virginia University (WVU). Oculus is a cost-effective reconnaissance platform available for use on a C-130 aircraft variants B through H. This system has a base of two standard MIL-463L pallets, an operators station and sensor pallet, that are loaded and rolled into place. The fore pallet or operator’s station holds three controllers, processing equipment for sensor data, and power regulation equipment. The aft pallet, or sensor pallet, located on the cargo ramp, contains sensors that, when in position, can be pointed at the ground. These reconnaissance sensors are situated in a pod that is mounted to four arms to allow more than 200 degrees of rotation, and are mounted to a movable plate that allow for linear movement. The two movements, actuated by electrical motors, allow the pod to be positioned in place beneath the cargo door for data collection. The coordinated movement of the arms and plate need to be precisely controlled via a computer system to ensure that the pod completes its deployment. The pod will be in a final operating point underneath the ramp by means of a single button pressed by the operator. The electronics used to run Oculus must be robust, have a backup solution, and meet stringent military electromagnetic compliance specifications. Various sensors and control schemes were considered during the design process to allow for robust and expandable operation. This publication will describe the electrical equipment chosen by developers at CIRA for this operation, as well as the control processes present in the latest version of the Oculus system.