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Proceedings Paper

Method for three-axis attitude determination by image-processed star constellation matching
Author(s): Hartmut Renken; Hans J. Rath
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Paper Abstract

An unmanned system for automatically 3-axis attitude determination by star constellation matching is a very useful tool for applications primary in the field of satellite technology, where stars are visible all the time. A special designed CCD-camera-system, which is sensitive enough to detect stars, points to the direction to be determinated and captures stars within the camera field of view. By comparing these imaged star pattern with celestial coordinates out of a database-like star catalogue, a star pattern can be matched and the attitude can be calculated by using simple vector algebra. In partnership with other attitude determination systems, the accuracy and reliability for an attitude control system is increasing. Including camera hardware and image processing software, we realized a transputer-based onboard computer system for our own satellite missions. For terrestrial and groundbased pointing applications or post-mission attitude determination a powerful PC-based system is available with additional visualization features of certain steps during the image processing via a user-friendly desktop.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 June 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3086, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XI, (23 June 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277199
Show Author Affiliations
Hartmut Renken, Univ. Bremen (Germany)
Hans J. Rath, Univ. Bremen (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3086:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XI
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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