28 August 2014 Lab demonstrations of a vision-based formation flying sensor for suborbital starshade missions
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Abstract
We report on laboratory demonstrations of a vision-based sensor to aid in the formation flying of suborbital vehicles. Precision formation flying of such vehicles will allow us to hold a starshade external occulter in the line of sight between a telescope and star at large separations. This will enable us to perform the first astronomical demonstrations of starshades as we attempt high-contrast imaging of the outer planetary systems of nearby stars. In this report, we identify two sensor architectures and detail the equations for a closed loop visual feedback system to be used for precision formation flying. We investigate the sensor's expected performance through a suite of Monte Carlo simulations and system-level demonstrations in the lab. We also report on the development and demonstration of a means for visual attitude and position determination.
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Anthony Harness, Anthony Harness, Matthew Nehrenz, Matthew Nehrenz, Matthew Sorgenfrei, Matthew Sorgenfrei, } "Lab demonstrations of a vision-based formation flying sensor for suborbital starshade missions ", Proc. SPIE 9143, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 914333 (28 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054538; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2054538
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