This paper presents a method of improving the attitude determination accuracy for nanosatellites with the aid of the camera sensor. In typical mission, the star tracker is usually used as an optical sensor for the precise attitude pointing for the nanosatellite. However, mostly, the star tracker cannot be affordable for most of the missions because of its cost. Instead of using the star tracker, the low cost MEMS camera module was used for providing the angular velocity vector of the satellite. The angular velocity from the camera module was put into the Extended Kalman Filter as a measurement. The simulation results showed that the attitude determination accuracy using the angular velocity from the camera module was improved compared with the results without the camera module. For the simulation, the spacecraft dynamics and the space environments were modeled for the verification. The precise camera model and the tracking of the stars in the camera images will be conducted in the future.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.