Sensors 2012, 12(12), 16451-16465; doi:10.3390/s121216451

Digital Sun Sensor Multi-Spot Operation

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Received: 10 September 2012; in revised form: 21 November 2012 / Accepted: 23 November 2012 / Published: 28 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Italy 2012)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: The operation and test of a multi-spot digital sun sensor for precise sun-line determination is described. The image forming system consists of an opaque mask with multiple pinhole apertures producing multiple, simultaneous, spot-like images of the sun on the focal plane. The sun-line precision can be improved by averaging multiple simultaneous measures. Nevertheless, the sensor operation on a wide field of view requires acquiring and processing images in which the number of sun spots and the related intensity level are largely variable. To this end, a reliable and robust image acquisition procedure based on a variable shutter time has been considered as well as a calibration function exploiting also the knowledge of the sun-spot array size. Main focus of the present paper is the experimental validation of the wide field of view operation of the sensor by using a sensor prototype and a laboratory test facility. Results demonstrate that it is possible to keep high measurement precision also for large off-boresight angles.
Keywords: sun sensor; APS; centroiding; attitude determination; image processing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rufino, G.; Grassi, M. Digital Sun Sensor Multi-Spot Operation. Sensors 2012, 12, 16451-16465.

AMA Style

Rufino G, Grassi M. Digital Sun Sensor Multi-Spot Operation. Sensors. 2012; 12(12):16451-16465.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rufino, Giancarlo; Grassi, Michele. 2012. "Digital Sun Sensor Multi-Spot Operation." Sensors 12, no. 12: 16451-16465.

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