Star sensor mounting for highly agile Earth imaging satellite

Abstract

Star sensor (SS) is one of the most critical instrument on-board a spacecraft when it comes to attitude determination and control. Capability of providing precise attitude information makes it even more important for high resolution imaging satellite with stringent pointing requirements. At the same time, these instruments are highly sensitive to bright objects like Sun and Earth Albedo. In this paper, selection of star sensor mounting has been elaborately studied and presented for missions primarily performing highly agile Earth imaging. This paper addresses selection factors like Sun and Earth avoidance from bore-sight axis, orbit altitude and local time, angular separation between SS, sensitivity of SS on body axis and functional availability during imaging. Results are presented in the form of available mounting options and the way they satisfy geometrical constraints over a year.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Dr. M. P. Ramachandran, Group Director, Flight Dynamics Group and Mr. B. S. Kiran, Deputy Director, Mission Development Area, U. R. Rao Satellite Centre for their support in carrying out this work. The authors are also obliged to Mr. P. Kunhikrishnan, Director, U. R. Rao Satellite Centre, Bangalore for his support.

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Correspondence to Piyush Kumar Gaurav.

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Gaurav, P.K., Kannan, S. Star sensor mounting for highly agile Earth imaging satellite. J Astrophys Astron 41, 16 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12036-020-09629-8

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Keywords

  • Mounting
  • sensor
  • satellite
  • attitude