Optical EngineeringLaboratory calibration of star tracker with brightness independent star identification strategy
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Star trackers based on charge-coupled device (CCD) or complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors, use a brightness independent star identification strategy that requires highly accurate measurements of star spot position. Therefore, precise calibration of the measurement model is crucial. Generally, ground-based real night sky observation is a specific and costly approach. In this work, an optical laboratory method for star tracker calibration is proposed. This method is based on ordinary instruments, laser autocollimation adjustment, and image processing techniques. The calibration issues of the star tracker with a brightness independent star identification strategy are analyzed. A new laboratory calibration method is introduced, and its results on an active pixel sensor (APS) star tracker are discussed. This method proves to be practical and adequate in the development of a star tracker with wide field of view.