In the work reported in this paper, a lost-in-space star pattern identification algorithm for agile spacecraft was studied. Generally, the operation of a star tracker is known to exhibit serious degradation or even failure during fast attitude maneuvers. While tracking methods are widely used solutions to handle the dynamic conditions, they require prior information about the initial orientation. Therefore, the tracking methods may not be adequate for autonomy of attitude and control systems. In this paper a novel autonomous identification method for dynamic conditions is proposed. Additional constraints are taken into account that can significantly decrease the number of stars imaged and the centroid accuracy. A strategy combining two existing classes for star pattern identification is proposed. The new approach is intended to provide a unique way to determine the identity of stars that promises robustness against noise and rapid identification. Moreover, representative algorithms implemented in actual space applications were utilized as counterparts to analyze the performance of the proposed method in various scenarios. Numerical simulations show that the proposed method is not only highly robust against positional noise and false stars, but also guarantees fast run-time, which is appropriate for high-speed applications.
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