The fully calibrated system is capable of positioning point sources of light to within single arcseconds of angular accuracy, spanning eight orders of radiometric magnitude.

About

Background:

Engineers in Prof. Simone D’Amico’s laboratory have developed a high fidelity, high-dynamic range testbed to stimulate a broad range of cameras and verify their functionality and performance for the next generation of vision-based satellite navigation. This portable, cost-effective, easy-to-calibrate system can be used on the ground to rapidly validate the performance of hardware, software and algorithms for cameras already integrated into a satellite bus. In addition, it operates in a closed-loop environment for both far- and short-range image simulation. This enables static and dynamic real-time testing prior to flight, taking into account a rapidly changing scene and geometric distortion.

Stage of Research:


The inventors built a prototype testbed and demonstrated operating modes to simulate static and dynamic scenes consisting of stellar and non-stellar objects. The fully calibrated system is capable of positioning point sources of light to within single arcseconds of angular accuracy, spanning eight orders of radiometric magnitude. 

Applications:

Satellite navigation testing - verifies and validates functionality and performance of hardware, software and algorithms of cameras for navigation in space, including navigation with respect to stellar and non-stellar objects, such as:
star-trackers for inertial attitude estimation on-board spacecraft
cameras for satellite formation-flying, rendezvous and docking
cameras for navigation with respect to planets, moons, asteroids and near-earth objects

Advantages:

High fidelity - precisely calibrated, geometrically and radiometrically to sub-arcseconds accuracy
High-dynamic range - spanning eight orders of radiometric magnitude, from stellar to close space resident objects
Miniature and portable testbed
Broad compatibility with range of different sensor types to stimulate any camera
Real-time, closed-loop system
User-friendly calibration
Modular design - 3D-printed structure that facilitates inter-component separation, alignment, orientation and interchangeability
 

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