Microcosm, with partners Space Micro and HRP Systems, will design, build, and test a plug-and play (PnP) star sensor for small satellites, achieving TRL 6 at the completion of Phase II. All three companies are very experienced in developing PnP systems. On a recent Phase II Air Force SBIR program, Microcosm built and tested a prototype miniature star sensor called MicroMakTM
, and is building a prototype radiation hard star sensor under a new Phase II Air Force SBIR. The new star sensor proposed here will focus on PnP compatibility for NASA missions of interest, with a mass goal of 0.5 to 0.75 kg. Anticipated NASA applications necessitate a modified version of the baseline MicroMakTM
sensor, including: 1) Interfaces compatible with a new PnP avionics architecture, 2) radiation-hardened CMOS focal plane arrays (FPAs), and 3) processing electronics to enable longer mission life. The baseline MicroMakTM
sensor was designed with inherent radiation-tolerant features: FPAs with no direct view of space, and all-reflective optical elements. The PnP star sensor will leverage MicroMakTM
heritage, providing a modular, PnP, long-life star sensor for NASA missions, providing a cost and mass reduction of a factor of 2 or more over existing star sensors.