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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

A Novel Ultra-compact Star Scanner

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This research is an innovative approach to fuse the rapid advancements in miniaturized high-speed electronics with the ultra-compact freeform optical design from our FY16 efforts to create the next generation of stellar scanner instruments.

The objective of this project is to develop a novel star scanner sensor prototype for integrated Cubesat structures that desire streamlined Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) components. This prototype will be the first star scanner developed to slide into a frame and can be easily swapped with other components. This modularity would significantly reduce CubeSat development time, cost, and integration.

The four primary objectives are to develop new freeform optical alignment methods for the mechanical structure. Next, utilize/manufacture a sensor electronics board with a slim volume and develop mature signal processing algorithms specifically for attitude determination software.  Last, perform a trade study on emerging detector technology, that promises ~20% (or greater) noise reduction for Goddard Cubesat sensor and instruments.



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