A new tip-tilt mechanism based on low voltage piezoelectric actuators has been designed by Cedrat Technologies (CTEC) to answer the need of a Point Ahead Mechanism (PAM) for the JPL Deep Space Optical Communication (DSOC) module of incoming Psyche mission. The PAM aims at deviating optical downlink signal towards earth position during DSOC communication phases. CTEC was sub-contracted by L3-Harris, working with JPL, to design, manufacture and test the performances of PAM engineering and flight models.
The PAM consists in a 2-rotation axis (“Tip Tilt”), small range and pointing mechanism with Strain Gages positioning sensors, mounted on a bracket including a thermal sensor. The PAM is based on a two stiff push pull pairs of APA120SM® actuators. It produces more than +/-2.8mrad for both axis rotations for the full -40/+65°C operational temperature spectrum with loaded mechanical resonant frequencies above 800Hz.