Thruster Imaging Analysis for Control of a Solar Concentrator
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE
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This paper discusses results of image processing of solar thruster images for use in controlling a solar concentrator. Video capture images of an SRS solar thruster are analyzed to determine focal spot parameters and the best method of determining placement of the solar focal spot to provide maximum power transfer to the thruster. Since the intensity of the light is distorted by shadows and specular reflection, location of the focal spot is non-trivial with absorber information obscured in the specular reflection, that focal spot information needs to be de-convolved using Digital Signal Processing DSP from the scattering distribution of the thruster absorber. The paper discusses characterizing the specular reflection of the thruster secondary concentrator and discusses its effect on the determination of focal spot location.
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