The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences

, Volume 57, Issue 1–2, pp 505–515 | Cite as

Twenty-Five Years of INR

  • James L. Carr


Image Navigation and Registration (INR) is the engineering discipline that deals with the problem of calibrating and stabilizing image geometry, particularly in the domain of geostationary weather satellites where the term appears to have first come into use within the GOES program. GOES I-M represented the transition from spin-stabilization to three-axis control within the GOES program. A spin-stabilized spacecraft, with its large gyroscopic stiffness, is a stable platform for supporting challenging Earth-observation missions from geostationary orbit. Unfortunately, a telescope deployed on a spin-stabilized spacecraft looks towards the Earth only about 5% of the time. NASA and NOAA were justifiably concerned in the GOES I-M epoch by the idea of adapting what was essentially communications satellite attitude control technology to host precision-pointed scanning instruments and accorded special attention to these concerns within the GOES I-M specifications under the heading of INR. The technology and performance of INR systems have evolved considerably since then and the field has found application in a host of non-U.S. systems, including Meteosat, MTSAT, and COMS. This paper looks back at the field beginning with GOES I-M and traces its evolution through Meteosat Second Generation (MSG), MTSAT, COMS, and GOES N-P with advanced stellar-inertial attitude control. It concludes with an analysis of where the field is likely to be heading for the next generation systems, in particular, GOES-R and Meteosat Third Generation (MTG).


Global Position System Orbit Determination Geostationary Orbit Attitude Control System American Meteorological Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Astronautical Society, INC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carr Astronautics Corp.

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