Development of a high-precision sensor for the attitude determination of the bifocal spacecraft simulator
Connolly, Brian D.
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Design Center of the Naval Postgraduate School. The objective of this simulator is to provide on-the-ground simulation of the dynamics and control of spacecraft for high precision Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing applications associated with space based laser relay. The required initial attitude determination accuracy for the Bifocal Relay Mirror test-bed is 10 Ã¦-radians. Normally, in laboratories where very high initial attitude knowledge is required, actual (space qualified) star trackers are incorporated into the testbed design. This is not possible at NPS as the laboratory does not have a skylight to allow visual access to the stars, and the photosensitive nature of many of the experiments would make such an opening inconvenient. Since it is critical to the operation of the testbed to provide accurate attitude knowledge, a substitute system was required. The present thesis documents the development of a new attitude sensor capable of providing attitude information within the required 10Ã¦-radians (within a field of view of the order of 1 deg). The concepts leading up to the final design, the testing and selection of the equipment used in the final configuration, and a detailed explanation of how the final system calibration was performed are discussed in detail.
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