STELLAR ABERRASCOPE STUDY
GENERAL MILLS INC MINNEAPOLIS MN
Pagination or Media Count:
A satellite orbiting about a celestial body, equipped with a device for star tracking, will observe that the stars sometimes pass behind or emerge from the limb of the body. It is shown that a measurement of the times of six independent horizon star transits will permit the determination of the six parameters of the satellite orbit with respect to inertial space. From the orbital elements, the altitude and subsatellite point can be determined as a function of time in a self-contained manner. It is proposed that star transit measurements be made while the light ray is still high in the atmosphere. The time of star transit can then be defined as that instant at which the refraction or the attenuation of a star image has built up to some predetermined value. Each celestial body requires special study based on the characteristics of its atmosphere - if it has any. In the case of the earth an investigation has been made of the use of atmospheric refraction or spectral absorption at altitudes ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 feet. As a result it appears that rms errors in the altitude of the constant density surface will not exceed a distance of one mile.
- Optical Detection and Detectors