BLAST autonomous daytime star cameras

Marie Rex, Edward Chapin, Mark J. Devlin, Joshua Gundersen, Jeff Klein, Enzo Pascale, Donald Wiebe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

27 Scopus citations


We have developed two redundant daytime star cameras to provide the fine pointing solution for the balloon-borne submillimeter telescope, BLAST. The cameras are capable of providing a reconstructed pointing solution with an absolute accuracy < 5″. They are sensitive to stars down to magnitudes ∼ 9 in daytime float conditions. Each camera combines a 1 megapixel CCD with a 200 mm f/2 lens to image a 2° × 2.5° field of the sky. The instruments are autonomous. An internal computer controls the temperature, adjusts the focus, and determines a real-time pointing solution at 1 Hz. The mechanical details and flight performance of these instruments are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy
StatePublished - 2006
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: May 25 2006May 29 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6269 II
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Attitude determination
  • Pointing sensors
  • Star cameras
  • Star trackers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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