Southern Research has over five decades of experience with electronic, mechanical and electro-mechanical system design, development, integration, qualification and delivery of state-of-the-art gimbals and data collection systems. Our core capability is the rapid design and production of special application pods and turrets with inertially stabilized gimbal systems for our customer’s surface or airborne sensor payloads – including full motion video (FMV), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), hyperspectral imagers (HSI), and other collection and targeting systems for operations in demanding environments.

Our business has been built upon providing unique systems to a diverse range of U.S. Government agencies and commercial companies including the Navy, Air Force, Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, national laboratories such as Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Los Alamos National Labs, as well as a large base of commercial customers. SR works alongside our customers, from initial development in the lab to final deployment and operations in the field. This gives us unique insight into our customer’s needs which allows us to anticipate new and changing requirements to bring the latest technologies to the field quickly and efficiently. The innovative solutions we provide are designed to achieve optimal cost-efficiency, design, functionality, and interoperability. Southern Research applies engineering expertise and advanced technologies to our customers’ needs in the following specialized areas:

Turrets and Stabilized Gimbal Systems

Southern Research develops stabilized gimbals and fine pointing systems used in a range of military and aerospace applications. As a leading innovator in the field, our advances have led to the development of several specialized gimbal designs ranging from small lightweight missile seekers to large multi-axis turret systems. Southern Research is a provider of sophisticated pointing solutions for numerous applications including Signals Intelligence (SIGNT), and Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications. Our proven expertise has enabled us to maintain longstanding relationships with government and commercial clients who depend on our ability to develop forward-thinking, cutting-edge design solutions. SR offers expertise in designing and developing the following types of turrets, gimbals, and fine pointing systems:

Multi-Axis Turrets

As a leading innovator in multi-axis turret design, Southern Research has proven expertise in developing multi-axis turrets with distinctive features and capabilities for ground and airborne applications. Our groundbreaking designs of large multi-axis turrets, ranging from 22” to 33’’ in diameter, have been integrated on helicopters as well as subsonic and supersonic aircraft supporting speeds up to Mach 2 and altitudes to 60,000’.

Airborne Imaging and Reconnaissance System (AIRS)

  • Stabilized Electro-Optical Airborne Instrumentation Platform (SEAIP)
  • ARMS

Mirrored Gimbal Systems

Southern Research is an established leader in the development of mirrored gimbal assemblies for specialized military applications. These assemblies are ideal platforms for directed energy programs and multi-sensor imaging because they allow multiple sensors to look through a single moving aperture. Our skilled engineers offer extensive experience in developing diverse systems ranging from small fast-scanning systems to larger mirrored systems designed primarily for stabilization of laser and Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) image collection.

Stabilized Scan Mirror Assemblies

  • SPI 3-D


Southern Research has a well-established history in the development of airborne pods that began with a development effort for an Infrared (IR) signature measurement pod for the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in 1972. Originally designed as a fixed-pointing pod to carry Infrared seekers being tested, this pod evolved into a significantly more complex system featuring multiple imaging sensors and a steerable turret. As seeker and sensor technology improved, SR worked in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force in developing several variants of this pod with upgraded sensors and improved multi-axis turrets. The evolution of this design led to the development of other special sensor test pods. These systems have been mounted on F-4, QF-4, and F-15 aircraft. Additionally, special pods have been built to test the AIM-9X missile seeker aboard Navy F/A-18 aircraft, and an Army pod used to test anti-tank seekers has been mounted on a Gulfstream jet. A radar signature measurement pod developed by Southern Research has recently been approved by Seek Eagle to be mounted on F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft.

  • SIGINT Pod
  • CSMP
  • Supersonic Airborne Tri-Gimbal Infrared System (SATIRS)
  • AIM-9X Captive Carry Test Pod /ADSTB
  • Beam Approach Seeker Evaluation System (BASES)

Airborne Sensors Design, Fabrication and Integration

Southern Research specializes in the rapid design and cost-effective production of special application pods and turrets with intertially stabilized gimbal systems for our customers’ airborne sensor payloads – including video, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and other collection systems for operations in demanding environments. Our experienced engineers offer proven expertise in the following diverse capabilities:

  • Electro-optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) system development and integration
  • Electro-mechanical system design
  • Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) system development
  • Video tracking and algorithm development
  • Video inertia pointing/tracking and geolocation extraction
  • Obsolescence and renewal programs

Additionally, we provide comprehensive, turnkey services for airborne collection equipment requirements, offering on-site design, assembly, integration, and field service. As airborne systems engineering and integration specialists, we offer timely and cost-effective design and production of specialized gimbals and pods for collection in extreme environments and unique fabrication support for the airborne collection of test data, SIGNT, and IMINT.

Seamless Integration in Support of Customers’ Projects and Technologies

Southern Research has the scientific knowledge and engineering expertise to integrate various sensors and accomplish the defined objective in a timely and cost-effective manner. We combine traditional systems engineering principles with other core competencies and technologies to connect disparate airborne sensor systems of wide-ranging complexity. As such, we specialize in providing seamless, fully integrated systems in support of our customers’ projects and technologies. The solutions we provide are designed to give our customers a competitive advantage by achieving optimal cost-efficiency, design, functionality, and interoperability.

We leverage our systems engineering expertise and knowledge of advanced technologies to meet our customers’ airborne sensor needs in the specialized areas of pods, multi-axis turrets, and mirrored gimbal systems.

  • Pods
  • Multi-Axis Turrets
  • Mirrored Gimbal Systems
  • SAR Gimbal Assemblies

Video Tracking and Image Processing

Southern Research recognizes the significant and increasing demand for Full Motion Video (FMV) to support ISR requirements for war fighter and Homeland Security professionals. Through our innovative work with video trackers, real-time contrast stretching, algorithm development, and inertial pointing and target geolocation extraction, we provide unparalleled expertise to customers with demanding and unconventional FMV requirements. Additionally, Southern Research is experienced in developing Graphic User Interfaces (GUI), operator workstations, and video metadata insertion and control.

Video Trackers

Image Processing Other Capabilities

  • Missile Seeker Technologies
  • Special Test Assets
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Analysis
  • Vibration Testing
  • Materials Testing
  • Mission Planning
  • Flight Certification Analysis and Documentation
  • Resolver-to-Digital (R-to-D) Electronics Board
  • Inertial Sensor Processing Electronics