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A methodology for determining spacecraft attitude and autonomously calibrating star camera, both independent of each other, is presented in this paper. Unlike most of the attitude determination algorithms where attitude of the satellite depend on the camera calibrating parameters (like principal point offset, focal length etc.), the proposed method has the advantage of computing spacecraft attitude independently of camera calibrating parameters except lens distortion. In the proposed method both attitude estimation and star camera calibration is done together independent of each other by directly utilizing the star coordinate in image plane and corresponding star vector in inertial coordinate frame. Satellite attitude, camera principal point offset, focal length (in pixel), lens distortion coefficient are found by a simple two step method. In the first step, all parameters (except lens distortion) are estimated using a closed-form solution based on a distortion free camera model. In the second step lens distortion coefficient is estimated by linear least squares method using the solution of the first step to be used in the camera model that incorporates distortion. These steps are applied in an iterative manner to refine the estimated parameters. The whole procedure is faster enough for onboard implementation.
American Control Conference, 2009. ACC '09.
Date of Conference: 10-12 June 2009