(Herlev, Denmark, 23 January 2007) -- The Terma Star Tracker team has now received the first ever in-orbit live data from the Terma HE-5AS Star Tracker.
The data has been recorded onboard the TacSat-2 spacecraft during the first hours following the successful release from the Minotaur I launch vehicle on Dec 16 2006. The Star Tracker was switched-on exactly one hour after the spacecraft release. At this time TacSat-2 was tumbling with an angular rate of more than 0.6 deg/sec 415km above sea level. With no a priori information about the spacecraft attitude the Terma Star Tracker immediately solved the lost in space problem, made an autonomous transition into accurate tracking mode and delivered a continuous stream of precise vital attitude information to the spacecraft. Following the Spacecraft de-tumbling, the Star Tracker has generated numerous series of attitudes with unprecedented accuracy in the order of 0.3 arc-second (rms) verifying the ambitious design goals of the HE-5AS Star Tracker.
The first Terma Star Tracker in space launched on June 21 2006 onboard the NRL Micro-Satellite Technology Experiment MiTEx is still reported to be operating according to specifications, but no data have been released so far for unrestricted use.
Over the next two years, Terma will deliver a number of star trackers to end-customers including the European Space Agency, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force and the Missile Defense Agency.