Real time spacecraft attitude determination by star pattern recognition - Further results Conference Paper uri icon


  • An autonomous, on board, near-real-time system for spacecraft attitude estimation is under development and test. The approach employs CCD arrays to digitize starlight and uses three microcomputers configured in parallel to (1) determine star image centroids and delete spurious images, (2) identify measured stars in an on-board catalog and determine discrete attitude estimates, (3) integrate gyro rate measurements and determine optimal real time estimates for use in the control system and for feedback to the star identification algorithm. Improved algorithms for star identification are presented. The estimation algorithms have been structured to allow recovery of rate gyro biases and thermally varying interlock angles. Results from some recently conducted simulations are discussed vis-a-vis the impact of onboard computing constraints.

published proceedings

  • AIAA, Aerospace Sciences Meeting

author list (cited authors)

  • Strikwerda, T. E., Junkins, J. L., Turner, J. D., & Kraige, L. G.

complete list of authors

  • Strikwerda, TE||Junkins, JL||Turner, JD||Kraige, LG

publication date

  • January 1979