Search-less algorithm for star pattern recognition
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A fast and robust star identification technique (which does not use a searching phase) is presented for a spacecraft equipped with a wide field-of-view star tracker. The algorithm, which identifies stars within a large star catalog using stars' angular separation only, consists of two identification processes: the K-vector Star-Pair Identification Technique (SPIT), which, for any observed angular separation, selects an admissible star-pair set from the star catalog; and the subsequent Reference-Star Star-Matching Identification Technique (SMIT), which performs the identification process based on a subset of all of the admissible star-pairs. The K-vector SPIT, which uses an appropriate devised vector of integers, does not require a searching phase. The best-fitting SPIT, which uses a best-fitting criterion to reduce the searching phase, is also presented. The resulting robustness of the algorithm is such that, after spikes are deleted, at least three true stars are still available. An overall software block diagram of the proposed system is depicted as well as the results obtained by extensive tests.
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