Objective: The objective of the activity is to design and develop a new digital sun sensor for the telecom market, meeting the 180 degree field of view, dual redundancy, power and data interface needs.
Targeted Improvements: Improving performance of sun acquisition in safe mode, in particular taking into account full-electric satellites with limited torque capacity. Simplification of the sun sensor design. Simplification of integration by reducing the number of sensors and interfacing electronics.
Description: As of today, there is no high-reliability and rad-hard European Sun Sensor available, commendable through digital interface. In addition, analogue sun sensors with wide field of view are becoming obsolescent.
In a recent ESA study, a digital sun sensor prototype based on a single chip was designed. However, for telecommunication missions, the redundancy within one equipment and a larger field of view is required, in particular for full-electric platforms.
In the proposed activity, the determination of the sun position can use any mean (CMOS pixel array, photo diodes, solar cells or a combination), but the interface with the AOCS shall be digital.
A new dual redundant digital sun sensor, with 180 degree field of view, and meeting the power and data interface needs shall be designed, developed and manufactured. Tests shall be performed to validate the design concept and the expected improvements.