Accession Number:

ADA257627

Title:

Sun Sensor Implementation Using Solar Power Arrays

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1992-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

82.0

Abstract:

This thesis explores the feasibility of utilizing a satellites solar cell power arrays as a sun sensor. Power output of a solar cell is highly dependent on the intensity and direction of sunlight that falls on the panel and thus provides an indication of the suns orientation. A sun sensor can be obtained by processing the power signal generated in each solar cell panel. This concept was applied to the Naval Postgraduate Schools Petite Amateur Navy Satellite PANSAT, a 26 sided polyhedral shaped satellite with 17 body mounted square panels. Two circuit configurations to meter the power signals generated in the 17 individual solar panels were investigated. It was possible in one configuration to develop a prediction model of each panels short circuit current versus sun angle. Compensation for seasonal variations in solar flux, solar cell degradation due to radiation and panel temperature variation is required. An estimation of the resulting sun sensors resolution and accuracy is given.

Subject Categories:

  • Electric Power Production and Distribution
  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE