Determination of Spacecraft Attitude and Source Position Using Non-aligned Detectors in Spin-stabilized Satellites

Sinha, Srikanta
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The modulation of high-energy transients' (or steadily emitting sources') light curves due to the imperfect alignment of the detector's view axis with the spin axis in a spin-stabilized satellite is derived. It is shown how the orientation of the detector's view axis with respect to the satellite's spin axis may be estimated using observed light curves. The effects of statistical fluctuations are considered. Conversely, it is shown how the attitude of a spin-axis stabilized satellite as well as the unknown position of a celestial source of high-energy photons may be determined using a detector whose view-axis is intentionally kept inclined and is known accurately beforehand. The case of three-axes stabilized satellites is also discussed.
Comment: 9 pages, 3 figures. Table 1 revised and extended. Fig.2 and Fig.3 modified. A reference has been added for section 5
Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics