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Proceedings Paper

Sub-arcminute pointing from a balloonborne platform
Author(s): William W. Craig; Ryan McLean; Charles J. Hailey
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Paper Abstract

We describe the design and performance of the pointing and aspect reconstruction system on the Gamma-Ray Arcminute Telescope Imaging System. The payload consists of a 4m long gamma-ray telescope, capable of producing images of the gamma-ray sky at an angular resolution of 2 arcminutes. The telescope is operated at an altitude of 40km in azimuth/elevation pointing mode. Using a variety of sensor, including attitude GPS, fiber optic gyroscopes, star and sun trackers, the system is capable of pointing the gamma-ray payload to within an arc-minute from the balloon borne platform. The system is designed for long-term autonomous operation and performed to specification throughout a recent 36 hour flight from Alice Springs, Australia. A star tracker and pattern recognition software developed for the mission permit aspect reconstruction to better than 10 arcseconds. The narrow field star tracker system is capable of acquiring and identifying a star field without external input. We present flight data form all sensors and the resultant gamma-ray source localizations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 July 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3365, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XII, (30 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317500
Show Author Affiliations
William W. Craig, Columbia Univ. (United States)
Ryan McLean, Univ. of Colorado/Boulder (United States)
Charles J. Hailey, Columbia Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3365:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XII
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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