Smeared Star-Based Angular Velocity Estimation in Star Trackers

Yi-Chen Tseng, Wen-Chiao Chen, and Shau-Shiun Jan

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Stars play a crucial role as reference points in star trackers, which are essential components of a spacecraft for precise attitude determination. Traditional spacecrafts employ gyroscopes for measuring angular velocity, but these are prone to error accumulation in space. This paper proposes an alternative method for estimating angular velocity using gyroscopeless star trackers. The high-speed rotation of spacecrafts results in the capture of smeared star images, which can be used in an innovative approach for angular velocity estimation. This study employed two estimation methods: the optical flow method and the geometric method. The data estimated from these methods were fused using a Kalman filter to enhance the comprehensiveness of the estimation. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated based on estimation accuracy and applicability under different angular velocities using simulated highly dynamic images. Using the proposed method, we can determine angular velocity during high-speed spacecraft rotation by relying on smeared star images, thus forgoing the need for traditional gyroscopes.
Published in: Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting
April 15 - 18, 2024
Hilton Waikiki Beach
Honolulu, Hawaii
Pages: 820 - 827
Cite this article: Tseng, Yi-Chen, Chen, Wen-Chiao, Jan, Shau-Shiun, "Smeared Star-Based Angular Velocity Estimation in Star Trackers," Proceedings of the ION 2024 Pacific PNT Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2024, pp. 820-827.
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