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Sturdy as a house with four windows, the star tracker of the future

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Author: Duivenvoorde, T. · Leijtens, J. · Heide, E.J. van der
Publisher: SPIE
Institution: TNO Industrie en Techniek
Source:Costeraste, J.Armandillo, E.Karafolas, N., International Conference on Space Optics, ICSO 2008, 14-17 October 2008, Toulouse, France, 10566
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Identifier: 782895
doi: doi:10.1117/12.2308265
ISBN: 9781510616219
Keywords: Optical design · Mechanical design · Analysis · Star tracker · Attitude control · Monolithic design · Integrated attitude control sensors · Space & Scientific Instrumentation · Industrial Innovation


Ongoing miniaturization of spacecraft demands the reduction in size of Attitude and Orbit Control Systems (AOCS). Therefore TNO has created a new design of a multi aperture, high performance, and miniaturized star tracker. The innovative design incorporates the latest developments in camera technology, attitude calculation and mechanical design into a system with 5 arc seconds accuracy, making the system usable for many applications. In this paper the results are presented of the system design and analysis, as well as the performance predictions for the Multi Aperture Baffled Star Tracker (MABS). The highly integrated system consists of multiple apertures without the need for external baffles, resulting in major advantages in mass, volume, alignment with the spacecraft and relative aperture stability. In the analysis part of this paper, the thermal and mechanical stability are discussed. In the final part the simulation results will be described that have lead to the predicted accuracy of the star tracker system and a peek into the future of attitude sensors is given.