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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Millisecond X-ray Star Tracker

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Millisecond X-ray Star Tracker
CrossTrac Engineering, in cooperation with its subcontractors Dr. Suneel Sheikh of ASTER Labs, Inc, and Mr. Paul Graven of Cateni, Inc., proposes to develop a next generation star tracker capable of measuring the attitude of a spacecraft with mill-arcsecond accuracy. This unprecedented improvement in star tracker accuracy is achieved by tracking a single, bright guide star in the deep ultraviolet to soft x-ray bands (1 eV to 10 keV) using a differential measurement of guide star offset angle. The overall field-of-view of the Milli-arcsecond X-ray Star Tracker (MXST) will be limited to a fraction of a degree square with the highest accuracies achieved when the guide star is aligned with the star tracker boresight. This allows a simple, differential measurement to be made of the guide star location relative to the spacecraft coordinate system. By observing guide stars at high energy (short wavelength), the compact star tracker can achieve diffraction limited performance of one milli-arcsecond in a small, compact package. More »

Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.