University of Oulu

Wu, L., Xu, Q., Heikkilä, J., Zhao, Z., Liu, L., & Niu, and Y. (2019). A Star Sensor On-Orbit Calibration Method Based on Singular Value Decomposition. Sensors, 19(15), 3301.

A star sensor on-orbit calibration method based on singular value decomposition

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Author: Wu, Liang1; Xu, Qian1; Heikkilä, Janne2;
Organizations: 1Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Changchun University of Technology, Changchun 130012, China
2Center for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-09-30


The navigation accuracy of a star sensor depends on the estimation accuracy of its optical parameters, and so, the parameters should be updated in real time to obtain the best performance. Current on-orbit calibration methods for star sensors mainly rely on the angular distance between stars, and few studies have been devoted to seeking new calibration references. In this paper, an on-orbit calibration method using singular values as the calibration reference is introduced and studied. Firstly, the camera model of the star sensor is presented. Then, on the basis of the invariance of the singular values under coordinate transformation, an on-orbit calibration method based on the singular-value decomposition (SVD) method is proposed. By means of observability analysis, an optimal model of the star combinations for calibration is explored. According to the physical interpretation of the singular-value decomposition of the star vector matrix, the singular-value selection for calibration is discussed. Finally, to demonstrate the performance of the SVD method, simulation calibrations are conducted by both the SVD method and the conventional angular distance-based method. The results show that the accuracy and convergence speed of both methods are similar; however, the computational cost of the SVD method is heavily reduced. Furthermore, a field experiment is conducted to verify the feasibility of the SVD method. Therefore, the SVD method performs well in the calibration of star sensors, and in particular, it is suitable for star sensors with limited computing resources.

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Series: Sensors
ISSN: 1424-8220
ISSN-E: 1424-8220
ISSN-L: 1424-8220
Volume: 19
Issue: 15
Article number: 3301
DOI: 10.3390/s19153301
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This research was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China grant number 61803043, Department of Science and Technology of Jilin Province grant number 20180520224JH and Education Department of Jilin Province grant number JJKH20181043KJ.
Copyright information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (