Theoretical Limits of Star Sensor Accuracy. Academic Article uri icon


  • To achieve mass, power and cost reduction, there is a trend to reduce the volume of many instruments aboard spacecraft, especially for small spacecraft (cubesats or nanosats) with very limited mass, volume and power budgets. With the current trend of miniaturizing spacecraft instruments one could naturally ask if is there a physical limit to this process for star sensors. This paper shows that there is a fundamental limit on star sensor accuracy, which depends on stellar distribution, star sensor dimensions and exposure time. An estimate of this limit is given for our location in the galaxy.

published proceedings

  • Sensors (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Fialho, M., & Mortari, D.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Fialho, Marcio AA||Mortari, Daniele

publication date

  • January 2019