Advanced Exoplanet Star Tracker for Orbit Self Determination

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Keystone Aerospace
P.O. Box 143881
Austin, TX 78714
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

This proposal puts forth an innovative star tracker hardware sensor that allows for autonomous calculation of a spacecraft's orbit by employing Doppler Spectroscopy and Astrometric techniques. The proposed advanced star tracker provides onboard deep space orbit self determination capabilities through the use of specialized reference stars that have exoplanet companions. The motion of exoplanets around a reference star's barycenter provides a stable, highly predictable natural signal pattern. An advanced exoplanet star tracker enhances mission capabilities for future manned and unmanned space vehicles as well as reducing Deep Space Network (DSN) tracking requirements and resources.