Intercept missiles are susceptible to very high frequency dynamic motion, such as vibration. This susceptibility can result in sensor line-of-sight errors on missile closed-loop guidance. To address this problem, engineers use flight motion simulators to replicate the disturbances. However, the most advanced test systems have bandwidths of only 60 to 100 Hz, contributing to unreliable test results.
CARCO Electronics used MathWorks products to design and manufacture a six-degrees-of-freedom motion test system that could operate at frequencies of 1000 Hz. MathWorks products saved CARCO time and money by enabling them to simulate the behavior of the controller and the mechanical system together and then optimize the control system before building a costly prototype.
"Without MathWorks tools, we wouldn't have touched this problem," says Robert Peterson, vice president of engineering at CARCO. "We would have had to use C or Fortran to construct a simulation model. We wouldn't have been able to analyze the behavior of the controller and the mechanical system together before prototyping. It would have been a nightmare!"