Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Eric D. Swenson, PhD.


The main objective of this research effort is to achieve an accuracy level for the SimSat star tracker system comparable to what is reported in current literature by various star tracker manufacturers and researchers. Previous work has provided a spherical star dome that needs to be fully populated with light sources. Programmable organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels were chosen to populate the dome to allow high contrast ratios without backlighting and increase the number of star combinations able to be represented. Noise equivalent angles less than five arcseconds (1 delta ) are achieved about the boresight axis and less than half an arcsecond around the other axes. Absolute accuracy near the center of the star dome is tested to be less than 0.04 degree about each axis. Two different approaches to inertially cataloging the star eld are also investigated, externally referencing each panels coordinates using a coordinate measurement arm and utilizing the camera's known position to catalog the panel's location. The full population of the SimSat star dome and reprogrammable capability of the panels allows many future research endeavors related to star pattern recognition and attitude determination to be undertaken.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number