For various reasons small spacecraft are becoming more appealing. Because of their smaller inertias, these spacecraft are more sensitive to disturbances and likely to have more attitude jitter than the bigger units. These jitter levels are unacceptable for some scientific instruments and need to be compensated. In the case of line-of-sight type instruments, the attitude jitter can be mitigated by incorporating a fast steering mirror into the system. To take full advantage of these devices, the spacecraft attitude needs to be measured at sufficiently high bandwidth, well beyond what is commonly provided by inertial reference units. This paper explores various ways to obtain higher bandwidth attitude measurements for the purpose of jitter control, and provides a practical solution to the problem.
Marcelo C. Algrain,
Mark K. Woehrer,
"Determination of attitude jitter in small satellites", Proc. SPIE 2739, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing X, (7 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.241918; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.241918