Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Division
Ashburn, VA

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division recently completed significant enhancements to the production facilities of its Defense Solutions’ Drive Technology business unit, located in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland, to support increased demand for its Turret Drive Servo System (TDSS) technology. The innovative, upgradeable TDSS turret aiming and stabilization drive system uniquely delivers scalable functionality and power adaptability to ground vehicle designers and turret manufacturers. Significant investments were made in the Drive Technology business unit’s production line, engineering, and development test tools. These include new testing equipment at the facility, such as state-of-the-art automated test benches and upgrades to the plant’s coating line.

The Drive Technology business, which primarily supports the military ground vehicle market with system level solutions for Turret and Weapon System Motion Control, TDSS, Ammunition Handling Systems, Missile Launcher Motion Control, and Remote Weapon Station Components, is currently producing and delivering TDSS solutions for four major and several smaller programs around the globe.

TDSS Aiming and Stabilization Drive System components include Rotary Gear Drives, Linear Gear Drives, Motor Controllers, Gyroscopes, Hand Controllers and System Software. TDSS is available in three pre-defined configurations, or if preferred, as a uniquely configured custom solution:

  • Configuration 1: Mechanical - The basic configuration is a hand drive that can mechanically move the turret in elevation and azimuth.

  • Configuration 2: Electrical - A servo drive provides basic electromechanical aiming of the turret and the gun, and a hand drive interface can be provided for backup. This system configuration includes rotary and/or linear drives, motor controllers and optional hand controllers.

  • Configuration 3: Stabilized - This configuration adds gyroscopes for stabilized turret control to the capabilities included in Configuration 2.

  • Customized: Drive Technology can develop an individually tailor-made solution based on the customer’s unique requirements.

Each TDSS configuration supports the option to incrementally add functionality via upgrades as the mission requirements change. For example, if Configuration 2 is installed, an upgrade to Configuration 3, a stabilized system, can be cost effectively achieved by adding gyroscope sensors, can be cost effectively achieved by adding gyroscope sensors, without needing to replace any of the existing hardware. When mission demands fall outside of the pre-defined configurations, a completely customized system that meets that mission’s unique requirements can be developed.

Typical TDSS High Performance specifications include:

  • Slow speed tracking < 0.3 mrad/s

  • Max. speed 1 rad/s

  • Acceleration 2 rad/s2

  • Stabilization quality 1σ value 0.3 mrad

  • All typical electrical interfaces are available (e.g. RS-422, RS-485, CANBUS)

The TDSS approach is generally more cost-effective and flexible than traditional bespoke aiming and stabilization system alternatives. TDSS is also designed to make it easy for system integrators to configure only the system that they require now, while adding increasing levels of stabilization as their mission evolves.

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