Next Article in Journal
Potential of Virtual Earth Observation Constellations in Archaeological Research
Next Article in Special Issue
Derivation of All Attitude Error Governing Equations for Attitude Filtering and Control
Previous Article in Journal
Identification of Soybean Varieties Using Hyperspectral Imaging Coupled with Convolutional Neural Network
Previous Article in Special Issue
Plume Noise Suppression Algorithm for Missile-Borne Star Sensor Based on Star Point Shape and Angular Distance between Stars
 
 
Article

StarNAV: Autonomous Optical Navigation of a Spacecraft by the Relativistic Perturbation of Starlight

Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA
Sensors 2019, 19(19), 4064; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194064
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 13 September 2019 / Accepted: 15 September 2019 / Published: 20 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Attitude Sensors)
Future space exploration missions require increased autonomy. This is especially true for navigation, where continued reliance on Earth-based resources is often a limiting factor in mission design and selection. In response to the need for autonomous navigation, this work introduces the StarNAV framework that may allow a spacecraft to autonomously navigate anywhere in the Solar System (or beyond) using only passive observations of naturally occurring starlight. Relativistic perturbations in the wavelength and direction of observed stars may be used to infer spacecraft velocity which, in turn, may be used for navigation. This work develops the mathematics governing such an approach and explores its efficacy for autonomous navigation. Measurement of stellar spectral shift due to the relativistic Doppler effect is found to be ineffective in practice. Instead, measurement of the change in inter-star angle due to stellar aberration appears to be the most promising technique for navigation by the relativistic perturbation of starlight. View Full-Text
Keywords: StarNAV; autonomous navigation; space exploration; stellar aberration; relativistic Doppler effect; velocity-only orbit determination StarNAV; autonomous navigation; space exploration; stellar aberration; relativistic Doppler effect; velocity-only orbit determination
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Christian, J.A. StarNAV: Autonomous Optical Navigation of a Spacecraft by the Relativistic Perturbation of Starlight. Sensors 2019, 19, 4064. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194064

AMA Style

Christian JA. StarNAV: Autonomous Optical Navigation of a Spacecraft by the Relativistic Perturbation of Starlight. Sensors. 2019; 19(19):4064. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194064

Chicago/Turabian Style

Christian, John A. 2019. "StarNAV: Autonomous Optical Navigation of a Spacecraft by the Relativistic Perturbation of Starlight" Sensors 19, no. 19: 4064. https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194064

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop