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15 August 2011 Thermal/Optical analysis of optical system of star tracker
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Spacecraft would be expected to encounter diverse extreme environmental (EE) conditions throughout their mission phases. These EE conditions are often coupled. Star tracker is a high accurate 3-axis attitude measuring instrument used in various spacecrafts. In this paper, an effective scheme to the thermal/optical analysis in optical system of star sensor was described and the concept of thermal optical analysis of star tracker optical system was introduced in detail. Using finite element analysis (FEA) and ray tracing, we can study the relationship of optical properties of optical systems and optical system's temperature distribution . A lens system configuration having six uncemented elements was discussed. The lens system was a 56mm EFL, which was different from common lens used in imaging system that this lens system was required to have a high resolving power in design thoughts. It was designed to determine the attitude of space platform by detecting and mapping the geometric pattern of stars. Based on this system, the FEA models of the optical system were established for temperature distribution calculation and for thermal-elastic structural deformation analysis respectively. Using the models, the steady-state temperature distributions of the tracker were simulated. The rigid body displacements of the optical components under homogeneous temperature changes and certain temperature distributions were derived out. It is convenient to use Zernike polynomials as the data transmission between optical and structural analysis programs. Here, Zernike polynomials and their fitting method are used as an example to determine the thermal induced optical degradations of the optical system.
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Si-yu Lu and Yi-fan Huang "Thermal/Optical analysis of optical system of star tracker", Proc. SPIE 8196, International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2011: Space Exploration Technologies and Applications, 81960E (15 August 2011);


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