The star sensor is used to detect the position of the stars in space. By recognizing and analyzing star maps, satellites or spacecraft can automatically change the direction of movements to realize the navigation function. However, the strong background radiation in the sky during the day results in a low contrast of the star image. This brings great difficulties to star sensors that work on atmospheric platforms observing stars all the time. To overcome the adverse impacts of the stray lights from the sky during the whole day through the atmosphere, a catadioptric all-day star sensor optical system is presented. In comparison to Cassegrain System, the design has a smaller size of aperture of housing. Therefore, it has the advantage of superb suppression of the stray lights caused by external sky background radiation and other factors. By adopting a plane mirror to compress the light path, the size of the system is decreased, realizing a light and miniaturized design. Based on the analysis of the characteristics of sky background radiation and star radiation, the optical system parameters are selected. The system has a focal length of 800mm, an effective aperture of 70mm, and an instantaneous field of view of 2 °. Meanwhile, with a steering mirror, it can observe an area between 40° and 70° airspace at all day. Finally, the results of the analysis show that the optical system spot shape approaches to a circle in the wide spectrum of 800 nm ~ 1700 nm, and the energy of which is close to the Gaussian distribution and highly concentrated. The modulation transfer function curve is close to the diffraction limit with small chromatic aberration of magnification.
The number of space debris has been increasing dramatically in the last few years, and is expected to increase as much in the future. As the orbital debris population grows, the risk of collision between debris and other orbital objects also grows. Therefore, space debris detection is a particularly important task for space environment security, and then supports for space debris modeling, protection and mitigation. This paper aims to review space debris detection systematically and completely. Firstly, the research status of space debris detection at home and abroad is presented. Then, three kinds of optical observation methods of space debris are summarized. Finally, we propose a space-based detection scheme for space debris by photometric and polarimetric characteristics.
Proc. SPIE. 9903, Seventh International Symposium on Precision Mechanical Measurements
KEYWORDS: Signal to noise ratio, Point spread functions, Stars, Quantum efficiency, Star sensors, Turbulence, Modulation transfer functions, Atmospheric turbulence, Atmospheric sensing, Electro optical modeling
All-day star sensor makes it possible to observe stars in all-day time in the atmosphere. But the detecting performance is influenced by atmospheric turbulence. According to the characteristic of turbulence in long-exposure model, the modulation transfer function, point spread function and encircled power of the imaging system have been analyzed. Combined with typical star sensor optical system, the signal to noise ratio and the detectable stellar magnitude limit affected by turbulence have been calculated. The result shows the ratio of aperture diameter to atmospheric coherence length is main basis for the evaluation of the impact of turbulence. In condition of medium turbulence in day time, signal to noise ratio of the star sensor with diameter 120mm will drop about 4dB at most in typical work environment, and the detectable stellar limit will drop 1 magnitude.