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Two-stage attitude control for direct imaging of exoplanets with a CubeSat telescope
Author(s): Connor Beierle; Andrew Norton; Bruce Macintosh; Simone D'Amico
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Paper Abstract

This work outlines the design and development of a prototype CubeSat space telescope to directly image exoplanets and/or exozodiacal dust. This prototype represents the optical payload of the miniaturized distributed occulter/telescope (mDOT), a starshade technology demonstration mission combining a 2 meter scale microsatellite occulter and a 6U CubeSat telescope. Science requirements for the mDOT experiment are presented and translated into engineering requirements for the attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS). The ADCS will utilize a triad of reaction wheels for coarse pointing and a tip tilt mirror for fine image stabilization down to the sub-arcsecond level. A two-stage attitude control architecture is presented to achieve precise pointing necessary for stable acquisition of diffraction limited imagery. A multiplicative extended Kalman filter is utilized to estimate the inertial attitude of the vehicle and provide input into the aforementioned controller. A hardware-in-the-loop optical stimulator is used to stimulate the payload with scenes highly representative of the space environment from a radiometric and geometric stand point. Scenes rendered to the optical stimulator are synthesized in closed-loop based off a high-fidelity numerical simulation of the underlying disturbances, orbital and attitude dynamics. Performance of the two-stage attitude control loop is quantified and demonstrates the ability to achieve sub-arcsecond pointing using a telescope payload prototype.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2018
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106981Z (12 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2314233
Show Author Affiliations
Connor Beierle, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Andrew Norton, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Bruce Macintosh, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Simone D'Amico, Stanford Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10698:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Makenzie Lystrup; Howard A. MacEwen; Giovanni G. Fazio; Natalie Batalha; Nicholas Siegler; Edward C. Tong, Editor(s)

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