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Proceedings Paper

Intelligent error correction method applied on an active pixel sensor based star tracker
Author(s): Uwe Schmidt
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Paper Abstract

Star trackers are opto-electronic sensors used on-board of satellites for the autonomous inertial attitude determination. During the last years star trackers became more and more important in the field of the attitude and orbit control system (AOCS) sensors. High performance star trackers are based up today on charge coupled device (CCD) optical camera heads. The active pixel sensor (APS) technology, introduced in the early 90-ties, allows now the beneficial replacement of CCD detectors by APS detectors with respect to performance, reliability, power, mass and cost. The company's heritage in star tracker design started in the early 80-ties with the launch of the worldwide first fully autonomous star tracker system ASTRO1 to the Russian MIR space station. Jena-Optronik recently developed an active pixel sensor based autonomous star tracker "ASTRO APS" as successor of the CCD based star tracker product series ASTRO1, ASTRO5, ASTRO10 and ASTRO15. Key features of the APS detector technology are, a true xy-address random access, the multiple windowing read out and the on-chip signal processing including the analogue to digital conversion. These features can be used for robust star tracking at high slew rates and under worse conditions like stray light and solar flare induced single event upsets. A special algorithm have been developed to manage the typical APS detector error contributors like fixed pattern noise (FPN), dark signal non-uniformity (DSNU) and white spots. The algorithm works fully autonomous and adapts to e.g. increasing DSNU and up-coming white spots automatically without ground maintenance or re-calibration. In contrast to conventional correction methods the described algorithm does not need calibration data memory like full image sized calibration data sets. The application of the presented algorithm managing the typical APS detector error contributors is a key element for the design of star trackers for long term satellite applications like geostationary telecom platforms.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5964, Detectors and Associated Signal Processing II, 59640J (14 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.625107
Show Author Affiliations
Uwe Schmidt, Jena-Optronik GmbH (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5964:
Detectors and Associated Signal Processing II
Jean-Pierre Chatard; Peter N. J. Dennis, Editor(s)

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