10 October 2012 Precision attitude control for the BETTII balloon-borne interferometer
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Abstract
The Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) is an 8-meter baseline far-infrared interferometer to fly on a high altitude balloon. Operating at wavelengths of 30-90 microns, BETTII will obtain spatial and spectral information on science targets at angular resolutions down to less than half an arcsecond, a capability unmatched by other far-infrared facilities. This requires attitude control of the gondola at the several arcsecond level, and phase correction of the gondola attitude at a level of less than a tenth of an arcsecond, great challenges for a lightweight balloon-borne system. We have designed a precision attitude determination system to provide gondola attitude knowledge at a level of 2 milliarcseconds at rates up to 100Hz, with accurate absolute attitude determination at the half arcsecond level at rates of up to 10Hz. A multi-stage control system involving rigid body motion and tip-tiltpiston correction provides precision pointing stability to the level required for the far-infrared instrument to perform its spatial/spectral interferometry in an open-loop control. We present key aspects of the design of the attitude determination and control and its development status.
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Dominic J. Benford, Dale J. Fixsen, Stephen A. Rinehart, Maxime Rizzo, Stephen F. Maher, and Richard K. Barry "Precision attitude control for the BETTII balloon-borne interferometer", Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84442P (10 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927224; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.927224
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