The purpose of this study is to address the concept and the step-by-step procedure of a high-precision optical alignment test for spacecrafts using digital theodolites. The proposed scheme focuses on the non-contact alignment qualification of spacecraft components during the integration and test phases until the launch event.
The proposed approach is based on the exploitation of the auto-collimation feature of theodolites and several prisms attached to the requested component and satellite configuration. As soon as the misalignment measurement including the difference between the real and desired attitude or position aberration of an instrument is made, the results must be transformed from the component level to the system level for misalignment error identification in the spacecraft dynamic model.
The paper introduces the main instruments, the defined coordinate systems and the architecture of the optical spacecraft misalignment test. Moreover, the guideline of the test implementation and the resulting data process have been presented carefully.
There is no limitation associated with this method because the procedure is applicable for high-precision typical missions.
This paper describes a fully implementable scheme to examine any possible inaccuracy in mounting of the spacecraft components both in position and orientation. The test can be performed without the need for a huge budget or complicated hardwares.
The contribution of this work revolves around illustrating the context and procedure of the spacecraft misalignment test which has remained unknown in literature despite the frequent implementation in the different satellite projects.
Mortazavi, S. (2017), "Satellite optical misalignment test procedure subject to theodolites", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 1, pp. 176-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-10-2014-0179Download as .RIS
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