Star tracker to determine direction and altitude of a spacecraft


Patent Information:

Patent Number : 9,073,648

Patent Title : Star tracker rate estimation with kalman filter enhancement 

Inventors : Tsao; Tung-Ching (Torrance, CA), Chiang; Richard Y. (Torrance, CA)
Assignee : The Boeing Company (Chicago, IL)
Family ID : 1000001197468
Appl. No. : 14/181,504
Filed : February 14, 2014

Abstract: An attitude estimator that uses star tracker measurements and enhanced Kalman filtering, with or without attitude data, to provide three-axis rate estimates. The enhanced Kalman filtering comprises taking an average of forward and rearward propagations of the Kalman filter states and the error covariances. The star tracker-based rate estimates can be used to control the attitude of a satellite or to calibrate a sensor, such as a gyroscope.