Design of a high update-rate star sensor for arcsec-level attitude determination from balloon-borne X/gamma astronomy platforms

Year: 2006

Authors: Palladino G., Basili A., Di Cocco G., Franceschini T., Landini G., Silvestri S., Barbini A., Galimberti M., Gizzi LA.

Autors Affiliation: Ist Astrofis Spaziale Fis Cosmica, INAF, Sezione Bologna, 40129 Bologna, Italy; Univ Ferrara, Dept Phys, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy; CNR, Ist Proc Chim Fis, IPCF, I-56124 Pisa, Italy

Abstract: This paper describes the design of a star sensor based upon a high dynamic range CCD in order to reach an arcsec-level attitude determination in balloon-borne missions. A custom star identification software was developed and laboratory-tested on a prototype assembled using commercial components. A set of numerical simulations have been carried out to study the dependence on the pointing precision of the centroid position accuracy, the number of detected stars and the effect of the image focusing. Moreover, the role of the electronic noise and the discrete pixel structure on the light signals is identified by the analysis of numerical simulations. Laboratory tests confirm that the arcsec pointing accuracy with a 1 Hz update rate can be achieved with our combination of custom-developed software and selected hardware components.


Volume: 21 (3)      Pages from: 169  to: 187

KeyWords: star sensor; CCD; Balloon-borne; attitude control; pointing precision
DOI: 10.1007/s10686-007-9080-7

Connecting to view paper tab on IsiWeb: Click here