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Proceedings Paper

Autonomous Star Cataloging For Space Surveillance Missions
Author(s): N. Westheimer; W. H. Haas
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Paper Abstract

Autonomous stellar-reference attitude updates can be obtained by the use of an infrared sensor system's capability of generating dense and accurate infrared-star catalogs. Existing lists of stellar objects, such as the Two-Micron Sky Survey and the AFGL-Four-Color-Infrared Sky Survey, provide stellar densities of about 0.1 star/deg2 at galactic latitudes greater than 30 degrees with a star threshold spectral irradiance of approximately 7 x 10-16 W-cm-2-μm-1. This results in waiting times for new updates of up to 30 minutes in regions of the celestial sphere where the stellar density is low. IR.-CCD mosaic surveillance sensors can detect stellar sources with much lower thresholds and thus generate their own high-density star catalog. The accuracy of CCD-mosaics for a single star sighting is only 1/2 pixel in width, but this is improved by recurrent sightings of the same star and by blurred-image-centroiding algorithms. Precision centroiding is discussed in terms of primary functions and theoretical performance limits. Performance variations with algorithm complexity, blur circle size, and number of sightings are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 1981
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 0280, Infrared Astronomy: Scientific/Military Thrusts and Instrumentation, (27 July 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.931960
Show Author Affiliations
N. Westheimer, Rockwell International (United States)
W. H. Haas, Rockwell International (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0280:
Infrared Astronomy: Scientific/Military Thrusts and Instrumentation
Nancy W. Boggess; Howard J. Stears, Editor(s)

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