Star Tracker

A star tracker is an optical device that measures the positions of stars using photocells or a camera. As the positions of many stars have been measured by astronomers to a high degree of accuracy, a star tracker on a satellite or spacecraft may be used to determine the orientation of the spacecraft with respect to the stars. In order to do this, the star tracker must obtain an image of the stars, measure their apparent position in the reference frame of the spacecraft, and identify the stars so their position can be compared with their known absolute position from a star catalog. A star tracker may include a processor to identify stars by comparing the pattern of observed stars with the known pattern of stars in the sky.

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