Guidance systems


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Guidance systems

The algorithms and computers utilized to steer a vehicle along a path. The types of vehicles include airplanes, rockets, missiles, ships, torpedoes, drones, and material transport vehicles within factories and so forth. The means of steering depend on the vehicle and can be the rudder, elevators, and other control surfaces on an airplane, the rudder on a ship, the control surfaces on a missile or on a torpedo, the gimbal angle of the motor on a rocket, and others. In every case the guidance system utilizes knowledge of the difference between where the vehicle should be and where it is. The difference between these two vectors is processed by the guidance algorithm. The output is a steering command intended to reduce the error between the desired and the actual paths. See Control systems, Flight controls, Ship powering, maneuvering, and seakeeping

Several important performance attributes contribute to the effectiveness of the system. These attributes are governed by the guidance system and by the other system components, including the vehicle itself and its dynamic behavior.

A primary concern is accuracy. Whether the goal is to insert a satellite into synchronous orbit or to try to intercept an enemy aircraft with an air-to-air missile, the accuracy of the sensor and the properties of the guidance system are the principal factors.

Another concern is speed of response. Here the dynamics of the vehicle itself can be a limiting factor. The guidance system must compensate to the extent possible in providing a fast, responsive system. The system should be able to recover from errors as quickly as possible and return to the desired path. In the case of homing on a target, this is crucial if the target can maneuver. Coupled with the need for a quick response is the simultaneous need for a stable response.

Another important feature of the system is its robustness. The guidance system design is based on a mathematical model of the vehicle, the autopilot, and the sensor. The guidance system must provide good overall performance despite this.

Reliability is also important. In many cases, backup components are provided for redundancy. This is frequently the case for the digital computer of the guidance system, especially for crewed space flight. See Reliability, availability, and maintainability

References in periodicals archive ?
The most common types of linear guidance systems are:
Zed Tunnel Guidance systems originally employed two separate transducer units to create the target - an optical sensor, and a gravitational sensor, which were relatively bulky and required additional cabling.
These models also are integrated into a virtual guidance system to provide stimulus to subsystem prototypes to verify their designs.
The participants in the technology strand of the symposium represented the current state of the art in the use of technology to support career development: stand-alone Web sites, career information and guidance systems delivered via the Web, new systems designed to support knowledge sharing and generation among professionals, and new systems designed to provide information and learning experiences to clients.
The reason for PL Safety Way Guidance systems is time.
14 Perceptron AutoGuide robot guidance systems will be installed in the automaker's Rastatt, Germany, assembly plant.
An upgrade is planned for the star selector servo subsystem, which is part of the telescope's fine guidance system.
Automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) can still be routed by in-floor wires, but the vast majority of users now opt for the flexibility of proven alternative guidance systems.
The division, which employs about 750 people, develops and manufacturers navigation and guidance systems for military aircraft, land vehicles, missiles and ships.
Gyrodata's new design team in Westlake, California, has extensive experience in the development of state-of-the-art inertial guidance systems.
Israel-based surgical guidance systems developer Mazor Robotics Ltd.
Boeing will continue to repair and supply the guidance systems of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) to the U.

Full browser ?