Diurnal Star Tracking for Balloon-borne Attitude Determination

DAYSTAR: develop a prototype star tracking system to provide pointing knowledge to a diurnal, lighter-than-air platform. DayStar will improve on current attitude determination devices used on balloon payloads in two areas: daytime operation and accuracy.

Project Sponsor: Southwest Research Institute (SWRI)   
Customer: Eliot Young
Project Advisors: Dr. Scott Pal (CU), Dr. Kroehl, Russ Mellon, & Dr. Kim Ennico  
Project Manager: Michael Skeen 

Team Members: Jed Diller, Kevin Dinkel, Zach Dischner, Aaron Holt, Tyler Murphy, Sara Schuette, Michael Skeen, Nick Truesdale, Andrew Zizzi

Project Outcomes

  • Successful integration of engineering components
  • Full data path demonstration 
  • Star tracking to 187 arcseconds RMS
    • 0.4 arcseconds RMS by removing systematic errors post-processing