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Red Top seeker teardown on Youtube

overscan

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From Youtube comments


Len Telford

Yes, this is a homing head from a Red Top. The main item missing is the small reflecting telescope that fits on top of the reticle assembly and focuses the IR image onto the reticle. The reticle is rotated at 100Hz by a 2 or 3 (can't remember which) phase motor along with a gyro wheel. The gyro isolates missile body motion. A pickoff around the reticle provides a position reference signal. The reticle/gyro assembly is in a 2 axis gimbal driven by two DC torque motors. Beneath the reticle is a field lens (has a redish colour) that brings the IR onto the IR detector cell. The detector is cooled from the aircraft compressed air supply before launch. The cooler is mounted under the detector. A guidance electronics package takes inputs from the IR cell and the reference pickoff and provides signals that give the two axis offsets from centre of the target image on the reticle. These signals provide drives to the gimbal torque motors to keep the target spot at the centre of the reticle. Wire pickoffs on each axis of the gimbal provide position rates of change to drive the missile fins. In summary what you would need to get the unit to track a target would be the telescope, the guidance electronics package, gyro drive supply and a high pressure pure air supply. Let me know if you require any further information/help, it would be good to get it working!
 

overscan

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Sidewinder used rollerons on the tails to stabilise the missile itself, which was a lot easier and cheaper than stabilising the seeker.
 

Zootycoon

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Sidewinder used rollerons on the tails to stabilise the missile itself, which was a lot easier and cheaper than stabilising the seeker.
Sidewinder’s original reticle AM seeker was fixed so didn’t need stabilisation, it was pointed by manoeuvring the whole aircraft but had a very limited engagement angle. However the missile itself still needs stability once in flight so had the, without doubt, ingenious rollerons.

I understand Red top was designed right from the start for a much higher angle and the ability for its seeker to be radar slaved (pointed), hence it’s seeker was gimballed. So an internal stability system would be appropriate for both seeker while it’s doing it’s stuff before launch and then the whole lot after launch.

Now fast forward to the Sidewinder Golf model, with its SEAM requirement and hence the introduction of a gimballed seeker both to increase the acquisition cone and allow radar slaving. So now it needs a stability system for both the seeker pre launch and a further system post launch I.e they clearly retained the rollerons I don’t know how the pre launch seeker stabilisation was done either internal or via an aircraft ref source. But it’s either an internal gyro, hence duplication or and external source which will always be inferior to an internal ref.

So I’m not convinced the advantage is with the Sidewinder. Of course what the Sidewinder got which the Red Top didn’t, was a near alphabet full of versions with real world feed back going in at regular intervals.
 
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