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Proceedings Paper

Laser terminal attitude determination via autonomous star tracking
Author(s): William W. Chapman; Michael W. Fitzmaurice
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Paper Abstract

Freespace laser communication systems require an initial spatial acquisition process to coalign the cooperating terminal line of sites (typically to sub-microrad accuracy). The complexity and time required for this process can grow dramatically with the size of the host platform(s) initial uncertainty field-of-view. The feasibility of significantly refining the laser terminal attitude knowledge prior to the initiation of the spatial acquisition process via a preliminary star tracking operation is addressed. It is shown that currently planned laser terminal designs are capable of supporting this star tracking function with minimal hardware augmentation. An analysis of stellar spectral irradiance is presented which enables the computation of the tracking noise equivalent angle versus stellar class and visual magnitude.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1991
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 1417, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III, (1 June 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.43760
Show Author Affiliations
William W. Chapman, Stanford Telecommunications, Inc. (United States)
Michael W. Fitzmaurice, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1417:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies III
David L. Begley; Bernard D. Seery, Editor(s)

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