Abstract

The elongated imaging track pertaining to a star spot recorded in the image sensor of a star tracker will diffuse over several pixels at a high angular velocity, leading to an inaccurate, even false, attitude value. A computer simulation of the attitude determination from a dynamic star tracker is developed first, based on a dynamic mathematical model of the star-spot imaging and an efficiency validation of the star centroiding algorithm in the dynamic condition. Then major error sources affecting the attitude accuracy in the dynamic condition are analyzed and discussed systematically based on the simulation results. A mathematical model calculating the average star number detected in the field of view is also deduced, using simulation results and signal processing theory, with image trailing ranging from 0 to 20 pixels during exposure. The summarized regularity is helpful in the system design and accuracy evaluation of a star tracker.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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