The star tracker is one of the most promising attitude measurement devices widely used in spacecraft for its high accuracy. High dynamic performance is becoming its major restriction, and requires immediate focus and promotion. A star image restoration approach based on the motion degradation model of variable angular velocity is proposed in this paper. This method can overcome the problem of energy dispersion and signal to noise ratio (SNR) decrease resulting from the smearing of the star spot, thus preventing failed extraction and decreased star centroid accuracy. Simulations and laboratory experiments are conducted to verify the proposed methods. The restoration results demonstrate that the described method can recover the star spot from a long motion trail to the shape of Gaussian distribution under the conditions of variable angular velocity and long exposure time. The energy of the star spot can be concentrated to ensure high SNR and high position accuracy. These features are crucial to the subsequent star extraction and the whole performance of the star tracker.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
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