In order to improve the on-orbit measurement accuracy of star sensors, the effects of image-plane rotary error, image-plane tilt error and distortions of optical systems resulting from the on-orbit thermal environment were studied in this paper. Since these issues will affect the precision of star image point positions, in this paper, a novel measurement error model based on the traditional error model is explored. Due to the orthonormal characteristics of image-plane rotary-tilt errors and the strong nonlinearity among these error parameters, it is difficult to calibrate all the parameters simultaneously. To solve this difficulty, for the new error model, a modified two-step calibration method based on the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and Least Square Methods (LSM) is presented. The former one is used to calibrate the main point drift, focal length error and distortions of optical systems while the latter estimates the image-plane rotary-tilt errors. With this calibration method, the precision of star image point position influenced by the above errors is greatly improved from 15.42% to 1.389%. Finally, the simulation results demonstrate that the presented measurement error model for star sensors has higher precision. Moreover, the proposed two-step method can effectively calibrate model error parameters, and the calibration precision of on-orbit star sensors is also improved obviously.
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