Summary

NewSpace Systems' NFSS-411 Fine Sun Sensor is TRL 9 with demonstrated in-orbit lifetimes of >5 years in LEO. To date, over 150 of the NFSS-411 units have been delivered globally.

The front surface of the NewSpace Systems (NSS) NFSS-411 sensor is a synthetic sapphire window with a reflective metal coating beneath. Slits are etched in the metal and sunlight passes through them and through an optical filter onto a sensor. The charge on the photo-sensors are read by the microcontroller, which processes the image and computes the sun vector. The vector and other telemetry is returned to the spacecraft through the serial interface.

Key features of the NFSS-411 include:

  • Low mass
  • Low power
  • Digital architecture
  • Embedded calibration

The NFSS-411 can be used in a range of applications, including:

  • Accurate determination of sun-angle
  • Can be used in conjunction with a magnetometer for simple attitude control
  • Can be used as safe-mode sensors on gyro or star-mapper controlled systems
  • Four sensors can achieve full sky coverage

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Last updated: 2021-09-07

NFSS-411 Fine Sun Sensor

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Specs

9TRL
mass
< 35 g
length
34 mm
width
40 mm
height
20 mm
field of view
140 deg
update rate
5 Hz typical
field of view accuracy
≤ 0.1° RMS error over 120° FOV
power consumption
idle: < 3mA [15mW] (bootloader mode)
idle: < 8mA [40mW] (application mode)
active: <30mA [150mW]
operating temperature
-25 to 70 C
mechanical vibration
17.25 gRMS (random)
radiation tolerance
20 krad (component level)
power supply
5 VDC (nominal) to 50 VDC
data interface
RS-485 UART
connector type
9-way socket Micro-D

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