Researchers at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have developed a low-cost star sensor for astronomy and CubeSat and other small satellite missions in the future.
About the star-sensor:
- The star sensor named Starberry-Sense can help small CubeSat class satellite missions find their orientation in space.
- Based on commercial/off-the-shelf components, this star sensor costs less than 10% of those available in the market. The brain of the instrument is a single-board Linux computer called Raspberry Pi.
- The star sensor is essentially a celestial compass. Any satellite needs to know where it is pointed in space, and the instrument used for this purpose is called a star sensor.
The position of stars in the sky is fixed relative to each other and can be used as a stable reference frame to calculate the orientation of a satellite in orbit. This is done by correctly identifying the stars in the sky towards which the star sensor is pointed.