Abstract

Accurate location computation for a beacon is an important factor of the reliability of satellite optical communications. However, location precision is generally limited by the resolution of CCD. How to improve the location precision of a beacon is an important and urgent issue. In this paper, we present two precise centroid computation methods for locating a beacon in satellite optical communications. First, in terms of its characteristics, the beacon is divided into several parts according to the gray gradients. Afterward, different numbers of interpolation points and different interpolation methods are applied in the interpolation area; we calculate the centroid position after interpolation and choose the best strategy according to the algorithm. The method is called a “gradient segmentation interpolation approach,” or simply, a GSI (gradient segmentation interpolation) algorithm. To take full advantage of the pixels of the beacon’s central portion, we also present an improved segmentation square weighting (SSW) algorithm, whose effectiveness is verified by the simulation experiment. Finally, an experiment is established to verify GSI and SSW algorithms. The results indicate that GSI and SSW algorithms can improve locating accuracy over that calculated by a traditional gray centroid method. These approaches help to greatly improve the location precision for a beacon in satellite optical communications.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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