A fast star sensor for balloon payloads

Computer Science

Scientific paper

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Spaceborne And Space Research Instruments, Apparatus, And Components, Spatial Dimensions, Photodiodes, Phototransistors, Photoresistors, Sensors, Remote Sensing

Scientific paper

We developed a system to reconstruct the attitude of balloon borne spinning experiments, where high accuracy (about 1') and high rotation speed (up to tens of degrees per second) are required. It is based on a stellar sensor, and gathers together hardware simplicity, cheap components, high resolution, and sensitivity. It is composed of an optical mirror (diameter 40 cm), an array of 46 fast and sensitive photodiodes, and low noise readout electronics. It was designed for the Archeops experiment, a balloon borne millimetric telescope whose goal is to generate high resolution maps of large regions of the sky, to study the temperature anisotropies of the cosmic background radiation.

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