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Proceedings Paper

Fast and robust pointing and tracking using a second-generation star tracker
Author(s): John Leif Joergensen; Andrew J. Pickles
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Paper Abstract

Second generation star trackers work by taking wide-angle optical pictures of star fields, correlating the image against a star catalogue in ROM, centroiding many stars to derive an accurate position and orientation. This paper describes a miniature instrument, fast and lightweight, including database and search engine. It can be attached to any telescope to deliver an accurate absolute attitude reference via a serial line. It is independent of encoders or control system, and works whenever it can see the sky. Position update rates in the range of 1 to 5 Hz enable closed-loop operations. The paper describes the instrument operational principles, and its application as an attitude reference unit for a telescope. Actual data obtained at the University of Hawaii's 0.6-m telescope are presented, and their utility for correcting mechanical alignment discussed. The system has great potential as a positioner and guider for (i) remotely operated optical telescopes, (ii) IR telescopes operating in dark clouds, and (iii) radio telescopes. Other application recommendations and the performance estimates are given.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3351, Telescope Control Systems III, (26 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308838
Show Author Affiliations
John Leif Joergensen, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Andrew J. Pickles, Univ. of Hawaii (United States)


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

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