Sun Sensor on a Chip (SSoC): miniaturized Sun sensor for high accurate Sun position determination in the aerospace industry.

Abstract

The Sun Sensor on a Chip (SSoC) achieves highly integrated sensing structures at low cost for high accurate sun-tracking and positioning systems. It is available in two versions, analog and digital, to satisfy the needs of all space mission. Its principal characterics are reduced size, minimum weight, low power consumption and wide field of view.

Description

Solar MEMS Technologies is a spin out company (from Universidad de Sevilla) and is committed to constant innovation, specialized in the Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS).

Sun Sensor on a Chip (SSoC), is based on MEMS fabrication processes to achieve highly integrated sensing structures at low cost for high accuracy sun-tracking and positioning systems.

The SSoC device measures the incident angle of a solar ray in both azimuth and elevation. The high sensitivity is based on the geometrical dimensions of the design.

Every sensor is characterized and a look-up table is provided for its application. It includes an internal thermistor for temperature compensation. The use of a metal shield and a cover glass in the objective minimizes the ageing of the device under high radiation levels.

Applications

  • Satellite attitude determination.
  • Accurate Sun position determination.
  • Satellite solar panel positioning.
  • Attitude control and failure alarm.
  • Satellite positioning in specific trajectory points.
  • Balloon and UAV control.

Innovations and advantages of the offer

The SSoC sun sensor, with reduced dimensions, minimum weight and low power consumption, provides a flexible solution for aerospace programs and micro/nanosat missions particularly when compared to other products on the market. Distinctive features of these sensors are achieved by the use of the proprietary MEMS technology, which leads to improvements in the efficiency as well as reducing weight and the physical footprint of the sensor.

Further Information

General Specifications:

  • Sensor type: 2 orthogonal axes.
  • Field of View (FOV): ±60°
  • Accuracy: 0.3° (3σ)
  • Repeatability: 0.05° (Signal noise)
  • Supply Voltage: 5 – 12 V
  • Total Volume: < 18 cm3
  • Weight: 25 – 35 mg.

Application

These devices are suitable for a wide range of different applications, manufactured to survive the specific space environment, including radiation, and fully compliant to ESA standards. The principal application is as a sensor for ADCS of satellites, especially Micro and Nanosats, although they can be easily integrated in balloon and UAV controls.

Comments on the technology by the broker

SolarMEMS Technologies is a high technological level company with experience and heritage in the aerospace industry extending over the last 10 years. It has participated in several aerospace projects with ESA, INTA, EADS, USE, UPC and MICINN. The Solar MEMS solar trackers have flown, or have been included to fly, on the following missions:

  • NANOSAT-1B - Vectorsol. Latest generation solar sensor which allows satellite positioning. Developed by the Universidad de Sevilla along with the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña and was submitted to flight qualification testing at INTA.  Mission launched in July 2009.

CEPHEUS. Cepheus” is a research project aimed to the development, construction and validation of a pico-satellite based on CubeSat standard from design phase to Flight Model (FM) phase. “Cepheus” pico-satellite embeds various experimental payloads, namely: fuel cell system, star tracker with MEMS (MicroElectroMecanical System) technology and secondary communications link. This way, the project faces some of the main challenges of current micro space vehicles: energy storage, navigation sensor cost, and communication link energy consumption.

Description of Space Heritage

SolarMEMS Technologies is a high technological level company with experience and heritage in the aerospace industry extending over the last 10 years. It has participated in several aerospace projects with ESA, INTA, EADS, USE, UPC and MICINN. The Solar MEMS solar trackers have flown, or have been included to fly, on the following missions:

  • NANOSAT-1B - Vectorsol. Latest generation solar sensor which allows satellite positioning. Developed by the Universidad de Sevilla along with the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña and was submitted to flight qualification testing at INTA.  Mission launched in July 2009.

CEPHEUS. Cepheus” is a research project aimed to the development, construction and validation of a pico-satellite based on CubeSat standard from design phase to Flight Model (FM) phase. “Cepheus” pico-satellite embeds various experimental payloads, namely: fuel cell system, star tracker with MEMS (MicroElectroMecanical System) technology and secondary communications link. This way, the project faces some of the main challenges of current micro space vehicles: energy storage, navigation sensor cost, and communication link energy consumption.

Category
Sensors & Measuring Techniques
Reference No.
TDO0100
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