A low cost photodiode sun sensor for CubeSat and planetary micro-rover

Mark Post, Junquan Li, Regina Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents the development of low-cost methodologies to determine the attitude of a small, CubeSat-class satellite and a microrover relative to the sun's direction. The use of commercial hardware and simple embedded designs has become an effective path for university programs to put experimental payloads in space for minimal cost, and the development of sensors for attitude and heading determination is often a critical part. The development of two compact and efficient but simple coarse sun sensor methodologies is presented in this research. A direct measurement of the solar angle uses a photodiode array sensor and slit mask. Another estimation of the solar angle uses current measurements from orthogonal arrays of solar cells. The two methodologies are tested and compared on ground hardware. Testing results show that coarse sun sensing is efficient even with minimal processing and complexity of design for satellite attitude determination systems and rover navigation systems.
LanguageEnglish
Article number549080
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume2013
Early online date4 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Fingerprint

Photodiodes
Sun
Sensors
Satellites
Hardware
Costs
Sensor arrays
Electric current measurement
Navigation systems
Masks
Solar cells
Testing
Processing

Keywords

  • CubeSat
  • planetary micro-rover
  • sun sensor

Cite this

@article{ba8544b78195440f94ad37e0d5f12fd3,
title = "A low cost photodiode sun sensor for CubeSat and planetary micro-rover",
abstract = "This paper presents the development of low-cost methodologies to determine the attitude of a small, CubeSat-class satellite and a microrover relative to the sun's direction. The use of commercial hardware and simple embedded designs has become an effective path for university programs to put experimental payloads in space for minimal cost, and the development of sensors for attitude and heading determination is often a critical part. The development of two compact and efficient but simple coarse sun sensor methodologies is presented in this research. A direct measurement of the solar angle uses a photodiode array sensor and slit mask. Another estimation of the solar angle uses current measurements from orthogonal arrays of solar cells. The two methodologies are tested and compared on ground hardware. Testing results show that coarse sun sensing is efficient even with minimal processing and complexity of design for satellite attitude determination systems and rover navigation systems.",
keywords = "CubeSat, planetary micro-rover, sun sensor",
author = "Mark Post and Junquan Li and Regina Lee",
year = "2013",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1155/2013/549080",
language = "English",
volume = "2013",
journal = "International Journal of Aerospace Engineering",
issn = "1687-5966",

}

A low cost photodiode sun sensor for CubeSat and planetary micro-rover. / Post, Mark; Li, Junquan; Lee, Regina.

In: International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Vol. 2013, 549080, 11.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A low cost photodiode sun sensor for CubeSat and planetary micro-rover

AU - Post, Mark

AU - Li, Junquan

AU - Lee, Regina

PY - 2013/11

Y1 - 2013/11

N2 - This paper presents the development of low-cost methodologies to determine the attitude of a small, CubeSat-class satellite and a microrover relative to the sun's direction. The use of commercial hardware and simple embedded designs has become an effective path for university programs to put experimental payloads in space for minimal cost, and the development of sensors for attitude and heading determination is often a critical part. The development of two compact and efficient but simple coarse sun sensor methodologies is presented in this research. A direct measurement of the solar angle uses a photodiode array sensor and slit mask. Another estimation of the solar angle uses current measurements from orthogonal arrays of solar cells. The two methodologies are tested and compared on ground hardware. Testing results show that coarse sun sensing is efficient even with minimal processing and complexity of design for satellite attitude determination systems and rover navigation systems.

AB - This paper presents the development of low-cost methodologies to determine the attitude of a small, CubeSat-class satellite and a microrover relative to the sun's direction. The use of commercial hardware and simple embedded designs has become an effective path for university programs to put experimental payloads in space for minimal cost, and the development of sensors for attitude and heading determination is often a critical part. The development of two compact and efficient but simple coarse sun sensor methodologies is presented in this research. A direct measurement of the solar angle uses a photodiode array sensor and slit mask. Another estimation of the solar angle uses current measurements from orthogonal arrays of solar cells. The two methodologies are tested and compared on ground hardware. Testing results show that coarse sun sensing is efficient even with minimal processing and complexity of design for satellite attitude determination systems and rover navigation systems.

KW - CubeSat

KW - planetary micro-rover

KW - sun sensor

U2 - 10.1155/2013/549080

DO - 10.1155/2013/549080

M3 - Article

VL - 2013

JO - International Journal of Aerospace Engineering

T2 - International Journal of Aerospace Engineering

JF - International Journal of Aerospace Engineering

SN - 1687-5966

M1 - 549080

ER -