A survey of algorithms for star identification with low-cost star trackers

K. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper aims to present a set of lost-in-space star identification algorithms that works effectively for small satellites. Several algorithms are investigated for both phases of star identification: feature extraction and catalogue search. For feature extraction, it is shown that an algorithm using extended images with combined images works best, and for catalogue search, the Group Catalogue is shown to be most efficient. Therefore, this paper proposes an algorithm combining these three. Simulation results show the effectiveness of this algorithm for its robustness to various errors, and an application of this algorithm, unequal star trackers, is introduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalActa Astronautica
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Lost-in-space star identification
  • Small satellite
  • Star tracker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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