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6 May 2011 Preliminary tests of commercial imagers for nano-satellite attitude determination
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Star cameras represent a well-known class of attitude determination sensors. At this time, they achieve excellent accuracy within arc-seconds. However their size, mass, power, and cost make current commercial versions unacceptable for use on nano-satellites. Here, the concept of developing a small star camera with very modest accuracy requirements for future nano-satellite missions is studied. A small commercial cmos sensor with minimal commercial optics is presented. The cmos imager has an active array area of 5.7 × 4.3mm, with a focal length of 6mm and an aperture ratio of 1.4. This camera's field-of-view is approximately 50 × 40 degrees and can capture stars of magnitudes smaller than 3 with acquisition times of 100ms. The accuracy of attitude determination methods using data collected by this camera was tested by taking photos of the night sky under terrestrial conditions. The camera attitude was determined using offline image processing and star field attitude determination algorithms. Preliminary attitude accuracy results were determined and they are presented.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Vladimir Tichý, Rees Fullmer, David Fowler, and Martin Hromčík "Preliminary tests of commercial imagers for nano-satellite attitude determination", Proc. SPIE 8073, Optical Sensors 2011; and Photonic Crystal Fibers V, 807306 (6 May 2011);


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