26 May 1998 Airborne blind pointer
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A candidate Blind Pointer system for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy telescope was developed and tested on a telescope aborad the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO). Once an operator inputs the celestial target's coordinates, the Blind Pointer can steer an aircraft and point an airborne telescope to within the focal plane's field-of-view without optical feedback. The Blind Pointer converts the desired stellar object's Right Ascension and Declination into an aircraft heading and telescope pointing-error signals. The Blind Pointer utilizes a global positioning system receiver integrated with an inertial navigation system controlled by a PC-clone computer. This candidate Blind Pointer offers significant advantages over the present system aboard the KAO: fewer components, greater observation efficiencies, increased accuracy, and simpler design. A patent has been filed for the Blind Pointer. Although the Blind Pointer was developed for airborne telescopes, other applications can exploit this technology. This paper describes the Blind Pointer prototype and flight test results from local and New Zealand deployment flights.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert Yee, Robert Yee, Frederick L. Robbins, Frederick L. Robbins, } "Airborne blind pointer", Proc. SPIE 3351, Telescope Control Systems III, (26 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308820; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.308820

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