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Proceedings Paper

Low-cost ultraviolet three-axis attitude sensor system
Author(s): Douglas B. Pledger; James Billings-Ross; Ralph H. Castain; William W. Saylor
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Paper Abstract

It is becoming increasingly obvious that satellite bus technologies that have been developed for traditional larger satellite platforms are not always suitable for use with smallsats. This is due to the intrinsic smallsat limitations in size, weight, available power, and cost. The problem is particularly obvious for attitude reference sensors of both the earth and star viewing type. In response to the lack of suitable sensors for this purpose, Honeywell and Los Alamos National Laboratory are developing a system that determines three axis attitude through ultraviolet imaging of the earth's limb and adjacent stars. A nonconventional wide angle optics assembly and intensified CCD array are utilized for this purpose. Because of the stability and predictability of the features being observed and the large number of pixels on which the scene is imaged, it should be possible to obtain accuracies on the order of .02 degrees with a very small and lightweight sensor configuration. A prototype sensor has been fabricated and tested, and has met all performance objectives. A more advanced version is now being developed, and a flight prototype should be completed by the end of 1993.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 1993
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1940, Small Satellite Technology and Applications III, (16 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.156650
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas B. Pledger, Honeywell Systems and Research Ctr. (United States)
James Billings-Ross, Honeywell Satellite Systems Operation (United States)
Ralph H. Castain, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
William W. Saylor, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1940:
Small Satellite Technology and Applications III
Brian J. Horais, Editor(s)

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