Attitude and interlock angle estimation using split-field-of-view star tracker
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An efficient Kalman filter based algorithm has been proposed for the spacecraft attitude estimation problem using a novel split-field-of-view star camera and three-axis rate gyros. The conventional spacecraft attitude algorithm has been modified for on-orbit estimation of interlock angles between the two fields of view of star camera, gyro axis, and the spacecraft body frame. Real time estimation of the interlock angles makes the attitude estimates more robust to thermal and environmental effects than in-ground estimation, and makes the overall system more tolerant of off-nominal structural, mechanical, and optical assembly anomalies.