Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Attitude Determination; Centroiding; Image Processing; Image Simulation; Star Image Creation; Star Tracker


"As interest in nanosatellites grows within the university community, the demand for inexpensive, space-grade hardware grows as well. Star trackers can be a luxury item for some spacecraft and therefore are often not considered due to their cost. Ideally, a star tracker could be built using inexpensive parts so long as the software is available. Unlike many other attitude determination instruments, star trackers are renowned for their high accuracy, yielding accurate and precise attitude estimates. However, development of this software can be overwhelming for the university settling, especially when multiple missions are on hand. If these instruments were readily available for more spacecraft, university-sponsored missions could expand to higher orbits and possibly deep space applications.

Keeping in mind the cost and time constraints most university missions run into, the difficulty of developing an inexpensive star tracker stems from the integrated software. Hardware can be commercial off-the-shelf products, but the software is the more expensive of the two, and it is this software that is often lacking at the university level. With this, the proposed algorithm shows promise for the development, implementation, and testing of free star tracker software. The presented algorithm allows for a variety of interchangeable hardware, making it ideal for the academic community"--Abstract, page iii.


DeMars, Kyle J.

Committee Member(s)

Pernicka, Hank
Moss, Randy Hays, 1953-


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2017


xi, 112 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 108-111)


© 2017 Casey Grant Smith, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11238

Electronic OCLC #