ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Star Sensor ASTRO APS - A Comprehensive Space Flight Qualification for a Wide Range of Space Environments and Advanced Measures of Autonomy
The autonomous star sensor ASTRO APS has been qualified for a wide range of space flight environments and is already scheduled for a variety of earth observation and geo-stationary telecommunication programs. The ASTRO APS star sensor is characterized by the application of the CMOS active pixel detector technology and the hardware/software implementation of new and advanced measures in self autonomy and functionality. Different qualification test programs satisfying the special requirements of low earth- and geostationary orbits have been performed. The ASTRO APS design is able to accommodate both of the state of the art space qualified APS detectors (STAR1000 / HAS2) according to the specific program requirements like life time and radiation load. Therefore, stable long term operation in extreme radiation environments with STAR1000 as well as very high attitude accuracy requirements with HAS can be covered. The paper presents the most impressive test results and gives a brief overview about the star sensors hardware/software design. With the conclusion of the qualification activities the ASTRO APS star sensor is ready for space flight and available as of the shelf product replacing step by step the CCD-based star sensor systems. Within the ESA program Future Star Tracker Technologies Jena-Optronik established already the cornerstones of the follow on generation of star sensors.