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Proceedings Paper

Earth beacon acquisition and tracking under various illumination conditions
Author(s): Barbara E. Marino; Haiping Tsou; Tsun-Yee Yan
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Paper Abstract

The use of sun-illuminated Earth images has been explored to aid in meeting the stringent pointing requirements for deep space optical downlink telemetry. It has been shown that fully illuminated Earth images provide a symmetry that easily lends to the determination of the geocenter. Since more often than not, the Earth is only partially illuminated by the sun, additional work is required to meet the pointing requirements under all illumination conditions. This paper develops an algorithm for determining the geocenter of the Earth regardless of the illumination by the sun using sub-pixel scanning and a simple thresholding technique. To complete this approach the acquisition algorithm is paired with a tracking technique based on maximum likelihood estimation. Results have indicated that the algorithm works well to locate and track the position of the Earth and, thereby, a receiving station. Results of the experiments are presented and compared with other techniques.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 June 2001
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4272, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII, (20 June 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.430780
Show Author Affiliations
Barbara E. Marino, Loyola Marymount Univ. (United States)
Haiping Tsou, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Tsun-Yee Yan, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4272:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XIII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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