ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
HYDRA star tracker Multiple Head Operation
One of the most innovative and remarkable feature of the new HYDRA star tracker is its ability to manage multiple star tracker heads with a single processing unit hosting a centralized software able to deliver a fused quaternion calculated from multiple heads individual data. The multiple head system offers many advantages over classical single head sensors in terms of robustness, thanks to its ability to check consistency of data from multiple sources, in terms of accuracy, thanks to its capability to optimize selection of tracked stars on multiple fields of view, and in terms of autonomy, thanks to its capability to manage temporary head blooming by Sun or Earth. The extended capabilities of the multi head architecture are illustrated by several examples of tests achieved either during the qualification of the generic HYDRA product and in the frame of specific mission suitability analysis.