A star tracker for CubeSats - Implementation and analysis

Wen Chiao Chen, Shau-Shiun Jan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A star tracker employs images of stars taken by a satellite-based camera to estimate its attitude and angular velocity in space. A star tracker is a flexible attitude sensor, which meets the requirements of a CubeSat. The objective of this paper is to develop an arc-minute accurate star tracker algorithm for CubeSats, and to analyze the results using a software-in-the-loop simulation. The algorithm is divided into three main parts: centroiding, Lost-in-Space (LIS) mode, and tracking mode. The weight sum method is used in centroiding, the voting method and quaternion-estimator (QUEST) method are used in the LIS mode, and the extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and catalog partitioning are used in tracking. Stars images are simulated to verify the algorithm. We evaluate centroid accuracy under different noise levels and star magnitudes, and the results have sub-pixel accuracy. In addition, we show the performance of LIS algorithm. With an appropriate voting tolerance, over 80% of the stars are correctly matched, the attitude estimations have arc-minute accuracy, and the matching results have over a 95% success rate. Also, the performance of the tracking algorithm is showed. The tracking results are successful, and the attitude estimation from the EKF has arc-minute accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Navigation
Pages696-706
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)0936406216, 9780936406213
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
EventInstitute of Navigation International Technical Meeting 2019, ITM 2019 - Reston, United States
Duration: 2019 Jan 282019 Jan 31

Publication series

NameION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings

Conference

ConferenceInstitute of Navigation International Technical Meeting 2019, ITM 2019
CountryUnited States
CityReston
Period19-01-2819-01-31

Fingerprint

Star trackers
Stars
Extended Kalman filters
voting
Angular velocity
performance
tolerance
Pixels
Cameras
Satellites
simulation
Sensors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Chen, W. C., & Jan, S-S. (2019). A star tracker for CubeSats - Implementation and analysis. In ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings (pp. 696-706). (ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings). Institute of Navigation. https://doi.org/10.33012/2019.16720
Chen, Wen Chiao ; Jan, Shau-Shiun. / A star tracker for CubeSats - Implementation and analysis. ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings. Institute of Navigation, 2019. pp. 696-706 (ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings).
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Chen, WC & Jan, S-S 2019, A star tracker for CubeSats - Implementation and analysis. in ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings. ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings, Institute of Navigation, pp. 696-706, Institute of Navigation International Technical Meeting 2019, ITM 2019, Reston, United States, 19-01-28. https://doi.org/10.33012/2019.16720

A star tracker for CubeSats - Implementation and analysis. / Chen, Wen Chiao; Jan, Shau-Shiun.

ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings. Institute of Navigation, 2019. p. 696-706 (ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Chen WC, Jan S-S. A star tracker for CubeSats - Implementation and analysis. In ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings. Institute of Navigation. 2019. p. 696-706. (ION 2019 International Technical Meeting Proceedings). https://doi.org/10.33012/2019.16720