The A-STR and AA-STR are medium Field of View (FOV) star trackers integrated in a single assembly with a radiation hardened design. The trackers feature robust and accurate three axis attitude determination with very low mass and power consumption for the class of instrument.
The star trackers are highly reliable and represent the latest technology in the field of autonomous attitude determination. Suitable for a broad range of missions, the trackers are utilized in the commercial market of telecommunication geostationary satellites (characterized by severe radiation orbits and long duration), in Earth observation satellites, scientific satellites and for interplanetary missions/probes.
Initial attitude acquisition can be performed without any prior information about the S/C orientation, solving the problem of the assembly becoming lost in space. All operations are executed under microprocessor control by means of SW modules with in-flight reprogramming capability. The company constantly updates its star trackers with the latest technology, whilst also maintaining a reputation for highly reliable products.
Active Pixel Sensor (APS) CMOS technology is one of these advancements. The AA-STR is based on the HAS detector, and as such is the first star tracker to include CMOS technology, able to achieve TRL 8. The company is now building on this experience with these highly integrated CMOS image sensors to study further miniaturization of star trackers, with the goal being to make a “sensor-on-a-chip” device available in the near future. As part of this endeavor a mock-up unit, functionally representative of the “basic” architecture, has already been realized and follow on activities are currently ongoing.