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Proceedings Paper

Advances and accuracy performance of the star trackers
Author(s): Liheng Ma; Chunsheng Hu; Xingshu Wang; Dongkai Dai
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Paper Abstract

Star trackers are beyond dispute the most accuracy absolute attitude determination sensors which are widely applied in spacecraft, satellites, rockets, etc. High precision autonomous star tracker has accuracy better than one arc second and generally resulting in a low update rate less than 10Hz. Typically, an autonomous star tracker consist two physically independent components, the optical head and the associated processing electronic system. High accuracy attitude is obtained through their cooperation. Basic principles of star navigation and components of a star tracker will be introduced. Star trackers used to be with big body size, heavy mass, high power consumption and complicated structure but with low accuracy. The state-of-the-art development will decrease the power consumption and mass of autonomous star trackers significantly while increase update rate and improve dynamic accuracy and system robustness. Advance of different generations of star trackers will be reviewed here. The accuracy performance of the star tracker depends on the sensitivity to the starlight of the image sensor, the star detection threshold, the field of view (FOV), the number of stars in the FOV, the accuracy of the star centroid, the dynamic maneuvering, the calibration and etc. Star centroid is a key procedure and contributes much more to the final performance of a star track. Accuracy degradation will occur when the carrier of the star track is in the state of high dynamic maneuvering. Hardware design and algorithms remedies have to been adopted to reduce the degradation effects. Detailed discussion of accuracy performance will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2013
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8908, International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2013: Imaging Sensors and Applications, 89080M (21 August 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2032690
Show Author Affiliations
Liheng Ma, National Univ. of Defense Technology (China)
Chunsheng Hu, National Univ. of Defense Technology (China)
Xingshu Wang, National Univ. of Defense Technology (China)
Dongkai Dai, National Univ. of Defense Technology (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8908:
International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2013: Imaging Sensors and Applications
Jun Ohta; Nanjian Wu; Binqiao Li, Editor(s)

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