Stellar Gyroscope

Stellar Gyroscope

Overview: Spacecraft attitude determination is  an essential process that yields the orientation of the spacecraft; however, this is difficult on cheap, small-volume CubeSats.  The Stellar Gyroscope  is capable of propagating a spacecraft’s attitude between camera frames by tracking the motion of stars in the field of view.  This process requires a digital signal processor on board the spacecraft, which in this case is an embedded Linux platform called the Beagle Board.  A single star is detected via centroiding, which calculates the expected value from the color values of several different pixels.  Attitude propagation is based on successfully performing correspondence of these stars between camera frames

Software Interface:

  • —Take_Picture(Exposure, Gain/Constrast, Histogram Size, Flag for Stellar Gyro, Delay between Stellar Gyro images, JPEG Quality, Width, Height, Flag for Grayscale)
    • —Takes a picture and outputs a raw image, full-resolution PNG, Histogram, Thumbnail, and Image of Desired Quality level.
  • Load_Picture(Filepath and name of picture)
    • —Send picture from IPU to C&DH
  • Send_File_List
    • Directory Update
  • Delete_Files(File Name(w/ File path), Flag if a directory is being deleted)
    • —Deletes any given file
  • —Power_Down
    • Graceful shutdown of the IPU, confirmation is sent upon success
  • ——Send_Status
    • Network enumeration, response to heartbeat polling
  • —BB_On_Poll
    • IPU polling status
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