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Design of a Miniature CMOS APS Star Tracker

Penghai Wang, Lidong Lan, Yifei Han, Guanya Wang, and Haiyang Quan
Beijing Microelectronics Tech. Institution (BMTI), Beijing, China
Abstract—Star trackers are currently the most advanced attitude measuring instruments. They have the advantages of high precision, small quality, no drift, strong anti-interference and autonomous navigation without relying on other navigation systems. This paper proposes the design of a low-quality, small-size and high-accuracy star tracker that is constructed by a self-developed CMOS APS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Active Pixel Sensor) image sensor and a microprocessor based on SPARC V8 architecture. Details of the hardware structure, algorithm design and navigation star catalog design are presented. Meanwhile, a control system is developed jointly on Microsoft Visual Studio and Matlab which can be used to configure parameters of the star tracker and display three-dimensionally attitude information. By analyzing the performance of the star sensor, the accuracy of the Euler angles can reach 2.25”, 2.25” and 15.97”, respectively. And their noise equivalent angles are 2.22”, 2.22” and 16.65”. Finally, considering the influence of the star tracker itself and the external environment noise, a median filter and a binary linear interpolation compensation method can be used to suppress the noise and improve the accuracy of attitude determination. 
Index Terms—star tracker, CMOS APS, attitude accuracy, median filter, binary linear interpolation compensation

Cite: Penghai Wang, Lidong Lan, Yifei Han, Guanya Wang, and Haiyang Quan, "Design of a Miniature CMOS APS Star Tracker," International Journal of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 84-90, February 2016. doi: 10.18178/ijeee.4.1.84-90
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