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Proceedings Paper

Precision attitude control for the BETTII balloon-borne interferometer
Author(s): Dominic J. Benford; Dale J. Fixsen; Stephen A. Rinehart; Maxime Rizzo; Stephen F. Maher; Richard K. Barry
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Paper Abstract

The Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) is an 8-meter baseline far-infrared interferometer to fly on a high altitude balloon. Operating at wavelengths of 30-90 microns, BETTII will obtain spatial and spectral information on science targets at angular resolutions down to less than half an arcsecond, a capability unmatched by other far-infrared facilities. This requires attitude control of the gondola at the several arcsecond level, and phase correction of the gondola attitude at a level of less than a tenth of an arcsecond, great challenges for a lightweight balloon-borne system. We have designed a precision attitude determination system to provide gondola attitude knowledge at a level of 2 milliarcseconds at rates up to 100Hz, with accurate absolute attitude determination at the half arcsecond level at rates of up to 10Hz. A multi-stage control system involving rigid body motion and tip-tiltpiston correction provides precision pointing stability to the level required for the far-infrared instrument to perform its spatial/spectral interferometry in an open-loop control. We present key aspects of the design of the attitude determination and control and its development status.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84442P (10 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927224
Show Author Affiliations
Dominic J. Benford, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Dale J. Fixsen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Stephen A. Rinehart, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Maxime Rizzo, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Stephen F. Maher, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Science Systems & Applications, Inc. (United States)
Richard K. Barry, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8444:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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