Design of a Stellar Gyroscope for visual attitude propagation for small satellites

Samir A. Rawashdeh, William C. Danhauer, James E. Lumpp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Attitude Determination is critical for many CubeSat class satellites. However, the mass, volume, and power constraints of the CubeSat form factor limit the options available to designers. In this work, we are developing a Stellar Gyroscope to generate spacecraft relative attitude estimates in three degrees of freedom without the drift associated with most solid state based gyroscope approaches. A Stellar Gyroscope is a star based attitude propagator that uses relative motion of stars in an imager's field of view. Algorithms to perform the star detection, correspondence, and attitude propagation are presented. The Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC) approach is applied to the correspondence problem to mitigate false-positive and false-negative star detections. This paper overviews the approach, describes the details of the solutions for the challenging aspects of the approach, evaluates experimental results, and offers component selection for a preliminary designs for a CubeSat system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 IEEE Aerospace Conference
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Big Sky, MT, United States
Duration: Mar 3 2012Mar 10 2012

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


Conference2012 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky, MT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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