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12 arc-second pointing in a 7 kg nanosat

posted Jun 5, 2016, 6:55 AM by Doug Sinclair
We are often asked "If I buy your equipment, what pointing accuracy can I achieve?"  It's a difficult question, because while we sell attitude sensors and actuators we do not sell complete ACS solution engineering.

The University of Toronto Space Flight Laboratory has just published a paper (here) on the results of the BRITE constellation.  Using an ST-16 star tracker and three RW-0.03 reaction wheels they achieve 12 arc-second 1-sigma pointing error as measured by their payload telescope.  The BRITE satellites are 7 kg 20x20x20 cm cubes, and can be thought of as equivalent to 8U Cubesats.

This is by far the best pointing performance ever achieved by a nanosat, and we congratulate SFL on the accomplishment.