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Proceedings Paper

Precision attitude determination for an infrared space telescope
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Paper Abstract

We have developed performance simulations for a precision attitude determination system using a focal plane star tracker on an infrared space telescope. The telescope is being designed for the Destiny mission to measure cosmologically distant supernovae as one of the candidate implementations for the Joint Dark Energy Mission. Repeat observations of the supernovae require attitude control at the level of 0.010 arcseconds (0.05 microradians) during integrations and at repeat intervals up to and over a year. While absolute accuracy is not required, the repoint precision is challenging. We have simulated the performance of a focal plane star tracker in a multidimensional parameter space, including pixel size, read noise, and readout rate. Systematic errors such as proper motion, velocity aberration, and parallax can be measured and compensated out. Our prediction is that a relative attitude determination accuracy of 0.001 to 0.002 arcseconds (0.005 to 0.010 microradians) will be achievable. Attitude control will have a jitter of around 0.003 arcseconds and stability/repeatability to around 0.002 arcseconds.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7010, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter, 70104A (12 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789919
Show Author Affiliations
Dominic J. Benford, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Tod R. Lauer, NOAO (United States)
Robert A. Woodruff, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. (United States)
Roel W. H. van Bezooijen, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr. (United States)
Gopal Vasudevan, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7010:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2008: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter
Jacobus M. Oschmann; Mattheus W. M. de Graauw; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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