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Open AccessArticle

Methods for Assessing and Optimizing Solar Orientation by Non-Planar Sensor Arrays

1
School of Communication and Information Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, Sichuan, China
2
School of Electronic Engineering, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu 610225, Sichuan, China
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Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(11), 2561; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19112561
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Non-planar sensor arrays are used to determine solar orientation based on the orientation matrix formed by orientation vectors of the sensor planes. Solar panels or existing photodiodes can be directly used without increasing the size or mass of the spacecraft. However, a limiting factor for the improvement of the accuracy of orientation lies with the lack of an assessment-based approach. A formulation was developed for the supremum (i.e., the least upper bound) of orientation error of an arbitrary orientation matrix in terms of its influencing factors. The new formulation offers a way to evaluate the supremum of orientation error considering interference with finite energy and interference with infinite energy but finite average energy. For a given non-planar sensor array, a sub-matrix of the full orientation matrix would reach the optimal accuracy of orientation if its supremum of orientation error is the least. Principles for designing an optimal sensor array relate to the configuration of the orientation matrix, which can be pre-determined for a given number of sensors. Simulations and field experiment tested and validated the methods, showing that our sensor array optimization method outperforms the existing methods, while providing a way of assessment and optimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-planar sensor array; orientation determination; performance assessment and optimization non-planar sensor array; orientation determination; performance assessment and optimization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, J.; Fan, X.; Zhang, Y.; Yang, J.; Du, Y.; He, J. Methods for Assessing and Optimizing Solar Orientation by Non-Planar Sensor Arrays. Sensors 2019, 19, 2561.

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