ECSE 4962 Control Systems Design  Spring 2004


Instructor:                           John T. Wen, x 8744 (CII 8213)

TA:                                       Ben Potsaid, x 2973 (CII 8123)

Secretary:                            Melissa Reardon, x 6313 (JEC 6049)

In-class Group Session:      T 8:30am-9:50am

Shop Hours:                        W 6:00pm-9:00pm (meets in JEC 4304 or CII 2037)

Classroom:                          JEC 4304



Pan-Tilt mechanisms are used in many pointing applications, from large telescope to webcams.  This course offers a number of interesting and challenging projects based on the design and control of pan-tilt platforms.  The project team will need to formulate the design problem in terms of quantitative performance goal and design constraints, develop conceptual design, size and select actuators and sensors, design the feedback controller, model, analyze, and simulate the system (using MATLAB and Simulink), and test and demonstrate its operation. Each project team will request a mechanism from a set left from the last time the course was offered.  A system will be assigned based on the conceptual design.


The projects in Spring 2003 are:

Team 1: vision tracking

Team 2: rejection of base disturbance

Team 3: fast pointing of laser beam

Team 4: target tracking

Team 5: rejection of disturbance to a laser beam

Team 6: tracking of target using spot light

Team 7: telescope pointing and tracking


Other potential projects are:

Motion tracking based on an array type sensor:

Solar power sun tracker: Solar cell array will track the sun across the sky.

Surveillance pan and tilt for camera: Tracking a moving target using a webcam (like team 1)      

Motion tracking based on multiple sensors (like teams 4 and 6):

Satellite dish positioner: locating, pointing, tracking of a moving signal beacon

Audio signal tracker: locating, pointing, tracking of a moving audio signal source

Motion based on a single sensor

Self leveling marker: Generating a horizontal line using a laser pointer based on the tilt sensor feedback

Disturbance compensation: Reject disturbance based on accelerometer/gyro feedback (like teams 2 and 5)

Motion based on open loop command (like teams 3 and 7)

Pan and tilt for telescope: Tracking of a celestial object, e.g., Venus or Mars, based on published data and initial calibration.                                                     

Laser beam "director": Move a mirror to generate a specified pattern on screen by using a fixed laser source.  Pattern specified in the screen frame will need to be transformed to the motion in platform frame.


Some commercial pan-tilt systems:




Pan and tilt mechanism overview


A complete pan and tilt mechanism is shown in Figure 1, Complete Pan and Tilt Mechanism.  Each team will mount their project on the pan-tilt platform.



Figure 1 Complete Pan and Tilt Mechanism


Because of the different mass properties and performance requirements for each project, each pan and tilt mechanism will require that the motor and transmission be sized appropriately.  Each team will then choose a motor and transmission based on calculations and match with the available hardware.  A small budget is available for additional components, e.g., sensors, and other parts.  There are also parts in my lab that may be used.



Project resource page:



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