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Proceedings Paper

Multipurpose active pixel sensor (APS)-based microtracker
Author(s): Allan Read Eisenman; Carl Christian Liebe; David Q. Zhu
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Paper Abstract

A new, photon-sensitive, imaging array, the active pixel sensor (APS) has emerged as a competitor to the CCD imager for use in star and target trackers. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has undertaken a program to develop a new generation, highly integrated, APS-based, multipurpose tracker: the Programmable Intelligent Microtracker (PIM). The supporting hardware used in the PIM has been carefully selected to enhance the inherent advantages of the APS. Adequate computation power is included to perform star identification, star tracking, attitude determination, space docking, feature tracking, descent imaging for landing control, and target tracking capabilities. Its first version uses a JPL developed 256 X 256-pixel APS and an advanced 32-bit RISC microcontroller. By taking advantage of the unique features of the APS/microcontroller combination, the microtracker will achieve about an order-of-magnitude reduction in mass and power consumption compared to present state-of-the-art star trackers. It will also add the advantage of programmability to enable it to perform a variety of star, other celestial body, and target tracking tasks. The PIM is already proving the usefulness of its design concept for space applications. It is demonstrating the effectiveness of taking such an integrated approach in building a new generation of high performance, general purpose, tracking instruments to be applied to a large variety of future space missions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 December 1998
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3498, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites II, (21 December 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.333636
Show Author Affiliations
Allan Read Eisenman, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Carl Christian Liebe, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David Q. Zhu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3498:
Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites II
Hiroyuki Fujisada, Editor(s)

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