Overview of star tracker technology and its trends in research and development
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In order to accelerate the evolution of faster, better, cheaper spacecraft, it is evident that greatly enhanced general-purpose attitude determination methods are needed. Star trackers have been used to perform a wide variety of tasks in the last several decades since star trackers for aircraft and missile guidance were developed in the late 1940's and early 1950's to provide a celestial reference for position and bearing determination, available day or night. Currently, star tracker sensors based on charge coupled devices (CCD) enable one to obtain the best spacecraft attitude estimation among the existing sensors for attitude determination. In this paper, an overview and survey of literature associated with star trackers is offered. In addition, novel approaches to design new star trackers based upon new detector and/or sensor fusion concept are surveyed and introduced.
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