Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 982420, 11 pages
Research Article

Lost-in-Space Star Identification Using Planar Triangle Principal Component Analysis Algorithm

Key Laboratory of Precision Opto-Mechatronics Technology, Ministry of Education, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China

Received 2 March 2015; Revised 6 May 2015; Accepted 25 May 2015

Academic Editor: Giacomo Innocenti

Copyright © 2015 Fuqiang Zhou and Tao Ye. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is a challenging task for a star sensor to implement star identification and determine the attitude of a spacecraft in the lost-in-space mode. Several algorithms based on triangle method are proposed for star identification in this mode. However, these methods hold great time consumption and large guide star catalog memory size. The star identification performance of these methods requires improvements. To address these problems, a star identification algorithm using planar triangle principal component analysis is presented here. A star pattern is generated based on the planar triangle created by stars within the field of view of a star sensor and the projection of the triangle. Since a projection can determine an index for a unique triangle in the catalog, the adoption of the -vector range search technique makes this algorithm very fast. In addition, a sharing star validation method is constructed to verify the identification results. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is more robust than the planar triangle and -vector algorithms under the same conditions.