Can eliminate other attitude sensors

Stellar Refraction







Landmark Tracking







Satellite Crosslinks







Earth and Star Sensing






(4); similar to MANS

(1) Uses sensors normally used for attitude only. Very small (or no) added weight and power for navigation sensing.

(2) Intent Is to use observation payload sensor.

(3) Uses crosslinks on board for intereateMte communications. Would need secondary system untD sufficient number of satellites are in place.

(4) Conceptual design only. Would probably use spacecraft computer.

(1) Uses sensors normally used for attitude only. Very small (or no) added weight and power for navigation sensing.

(2) Intent Is to use observation payload sensor.

(3) Uses crosslinks on board for intereateMte communications. Would need secondary system untD sufficient number of satellites are in place.

(4) Conceptual design only. Would probably use spacecraft computer.

The problem of combining orbit and attitude systems is illustrated by Table 11-67, which provides size, weight and power for alternative autonomous navigation systems. Several of the systems, such as the GPS receivers, are orbit-only, although in the future they may be expanded to include attitude as well. Other systems, such as MANS and the Space Sextant do both the attitude and orbit function. In these cases, one should look at the difference in weight and power required to achieve navigation from that required for attitude alone. Even this assessment is complicated because orbit determination requires computer resources which may be regarded as a part of the attitude control system, the navigation system, the command and data handling system, or the general spacecraft computer. For many of the systems, such as landmark tracking or crosslink navigation, the computer is the principal element associated with autonomous navigation and control. The main message is to avoid "double booking" components for guidance and navigation and to look at the joint implementation of orbit and attitude determination and control when beginning to optimize system performance.

Autonomous navigation and orbit maintenance is too new to have a standard implementation in terms of where computations are done. But the nature of the computations themselves and the data used suggest a natural configuration: using a single spacecraft processor for determining and controlling the attitude and orbit. These functions will probably use either the same or similar sensors and may use the same actuators. Most of the computing is associated with sensor processing, data handling, and anomaly resolution. The orbit and attitude computations themselves are normally much smaller. The implementation of either orbit or attitude control algorithms represents by far the smallest part of the throughput requirement. Thus, control adds little burden for any processor which is already determining the orbit or attitude.

A reasonable initial design would incorporate all of these functions in a single spacecraft processor. Actual implementation may vary, depending upon the specific hardware and software. For example, star-sensor processing may be incorporated within the star sensor itself, or may be done in the same processor as other orbit or attitude functions. The overall objective, however, should continue to be to minimize the cost and risk of determining and controlling the orbit and attitude for the entire mission.


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