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Proceedings Paper

Airborne blind pointer
Author(s): Robert Yee; Frederick L. Robbins
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Paper Abstract

A candidate Blind Pointer system for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy telescope was developed and tested on a telescope aborad the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO). Once an operator inputs the celestial target's coordinates, the Blind Pointer can steer an aircraft and point an airborne telescope to within the focal plane's field-of-view without optical feedback. The Blind Pointer converts the desired stellar object's Right Ascension and Declination into an aircraft heading and telescope pointing-error signals. The Blind Pointer utilizes a global positioning system receiver integrated with an inertial navigation system controlled by a PC-clone computer. This candidate Blind Pointer offers significant advantages over the present system aboard the KAO: fewer components, greater observation efficiencies, increased accuracy, and simpler design. A patent has been filed for the Blind Pointer. Although the Blind Pointer was developed for airborne telescopes, other applications can exploit this technology. This paper describes the Blind Pointer prototype and flight test results from local and New Zealand deployment flights.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3351, Telescope Control Systems III, (26 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308820
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Yee, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Frederick L. Robbins, Lockheed Martin Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3351:
Telescope Control Systems III
Hilton Lewis, Editor(s)

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