Design and evaluation of a digital processing unit for satellite angular velocity estimation
Little, Jeffrey Warren
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A satellite's absolute attitude and angular rate are both important measurements for satellite missions that require navigation. Typically, these measurements have been made by separate sensors, with star cameras being used to determine a satellite's absolute attitude, and gyroscopes being used as the primary rate sensors. Recently, there have been multiple efforts to measure both of these quantities using only the star camera, however the work primarily involves solutions where the optical sensor and the unit that processes the images are separate integrated circuits. Operation in this modality requires the use of chip to chip communication in order to estimate angular rate from star tracker images, which can lead to an increase in system power, a degradation in performance, and increased latency. The goal of this thesis is to consolidate the sensing and processing into a single integrated circuit. The design and evaluation of a digital processing unit that estimates angular rate and facilitates the realization of image sensor and processor integration is presented. The processing unit is implemented in UMC's 130 nm process, has an area of 10 mm × 200 μm, and consumes 8.253 mW of power.