ARGO 1.0 is an innovative Multicamera Star Tracker targeting minisats. Its value proposition is the capability to guarantee high accuracy, robustness and flexibility, including a smart in-flight autocalibration of both camera model and camera relative attitude, with a price affordable for the SmallSats market. With respect to other star trackers, ARGO improves the attitude measurement accuracy, the admissible working conditions and the system robustness and autonomy, it simplifies hardware requirements and opens the way for gyroless and single sensor AOCS concepts.
The main ARGO innovation and advantages are here below summarized.
1. Maximum Sky Coverage. The cameras can be installed wherever on the vehicle it is more convenient for obtaining a good sky coverage, which are even very far away from each other.
2. High accuracy & Robustness over time. Since both camera calibration model parameters and camera relative attitude are measured and continuously updated on board, it does not hold anymore the requirement that the above parameters have to be strictly invariant and stable for the whole star tracker life.
3. Flexibility/ Easiness of installation. Only a camera – to be defined as Master Camera – will have to be mounted connected in rigid and time invariant way with the payload, the attitude of which one wants to measure. The attitude of each other cameras is measured with respect to Master Camera and continuously on board updated. Then, all the other cameras can be mounted without having to comply with any special rigidity and invariability constraints of their attitude with respect to the payload.