Dude Where's My Stars: A Novel Topologically Justified Approach to Star TrackingIn this paper, we consider two novel approaches to celestial navigation for spacecraft. Determining attitude without any prior knowledge using star tracking is known to be a difficult task, particularly given the computational complexity and the many potential sources of misinformation. We consider localization by optimizing matching parameters without explicit star identification in a computationally tractable manner. This is achieved using the mathematical tools of topological data analysis (TDA) and cellular sheaves to study the geometry and distribution of cataloged stars. A framework is gained that enhances the statistical approach to noise handling and false star detection, and heterogeneous sensor fusion. Finally, we discuss confidence bounds and minimum information requirements for successful operation.
Robert Green (University at Albany, State University of New York Albany, New York, United States)
Robert Cardona (University at Albany, State University of New York Albany, New York, United States)
Jacob Cleveland (University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, Nebraska, United States)
Joseph Ozbolt (Auburn University Auburn, Alabama, United States)
Alan Hylton (Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Robert Short (Glenn Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Michael Robinson (American University Washington, DC)