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Optical Engineering

Daytime aspect camera for balloon altitudes
Author(s): Kurtis L. Dietz; Brian D. Ramsey; Cheryl D. Alexander; Jeff A. Apple; Kajal Ghosh; Wesley R. Swift
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Paper Abstract

We have designed, built, and flight-tested a new star camera for daytime guiding of pointed balloon-borne experiments at altitudes around 40 km. The camera and lens are commercially available, off-the-shelf components, but require a custom-built baffle to reduce stray light, especially near the sunlit limb of the balloon. This new camera, which operates in the 600- to 1000-nm region of the spectrum, successfully provides daytime aspect information of ≈10 arcsec resolution for two distinct star fields near the galactic plane. The detected scattered-light backgrounds show good agreement with the Air Force MODTRAN models used to design the camera, but the daytime stellar magnitude limit was lower than expected due to longitudinal chromatic aberration in the lens. Replacing the commercial lens with a custom-built lens should allow the system to track stars in any arbitrary area of the sky during the daytime.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2002
PDF: 11 pages
Opt. Eng. 41(10) doi: 10.1117/1.1501566
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 41, Issue 10
Show Author Affiliations
Kurtis L. Dietz, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Brian D. Ramsey, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Cheryl D. Alexander, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jeff A. Apple, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Kajal Ghosh, Univ. Space Research Associates (United States)
Wesley R. Swift, Raytheon ITSS (United States)

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