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Proceedings Paper

High-altitude balloon experiment: a testbed for acquisition, tracking, and pointing technologies
Author(s): Timothy J. Schneeberger; Ken W. Barker
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Paper Abstract

The mission of the High-Altitude Balloon Experiment (HABE) is to acquire supporting data, validate enabling technologies, and resolve critical acquisition, tracking, and pointing (ATP) and fire control issues in support of future space-based precision pointing experiments. The use of high-altitude balloons offers a relatively low-cost, low-vibration test platform, a recoverable and reusable payload, worldwide launch capability, and a 'near- space' emulation of the future space systems operational scenarios. The HABE platform design is based on several previous spacecraft designs, and includes coarse gimbal pointing, infrared and visible passive tracking, active fine tracking, internal auto alignment and boresighting, and precision line-of-sight (LOS) stabilization functions. A broad overview of the HABE balloon and payload system is presented, and the similarities and differences between high-altitude balloon and spacecraft design approaches are discussed. The special design features and operational conditions for ATP experiments aboard high-altitude balloon platforms are reviewed with HABE used as a design reference.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1993
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 1950, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing VII, (1 October 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.156595
Show Author Affiliations
Timothy J. Schneeberger, Logicon R&D Associates (United States)
Ken W. Barker, Phillips Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1950:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing VII
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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