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News

17.12.2012

Star Sensor – The Eye of the Satellite

Jena-Optronik Sternensensor

That space is romantically called an ocean of stars, is not by chance. In the 16th century, seafarers and explorers used the fixed stars in the sky for navigation and orientation. Modern satellite technology also uses the starlit sky to find out the exact position. But who manufactures the corresponding technology? A market leader in this discipline is the Thuringian company Jena-Optronik GmbH. Their star sensors function as the eyes of the satellites. Design & Data produced a film which leads through the fascinating world of the star sensor and visualises the concept.

Star sensors are an important part of satellites. They are optical measuring instruments which are guided by the stars. This is how it works: the camera records the surroundings of the satellite. The resulting image is compared with an integrated star catalogue and from this the exact position of the satellite can be calculated. The precision used is tremendous: the star sensor can recognize the position of the satellite with the exactness of a one-Euro-coin from a distance of four kilometres.

To get to know the different stages of development and production of a star sensor, the film produced by Design & Data leads through the departments of Jena-Optronik which are involved in the process. From assembly to mechanics to quality management – the Thuringian experts report in detail about the know-how and the creation of a star sensor. The eye of the satellite is developed, produced and tested in-house.

Design & Data filmed on location at Jena-Optronik, created 3D-animations specifically for the video and did the post production. The result reports informatively and entertaining about one of the essential elements of a satellite, the star sensor – the eye of the satellite.