This analog-type coarse sun sensor is probably the simplest sun sensing element in satellite attitude determination technology. Usually, a photodiode or a photoresistor is used. Here we use the former in CSS100 to extract better sensitivity and stability. In this case, the coarse sun sensor can not only serve as a digital indication device that tells users if a specific face of the satellite faces. Furthermore, it can tell users a rough sun vector angle to the normal line on the surface of the sun sensor. That is why we call these coarse sun sensors to have a 1 axis attitude determination capability.
Multiple sun sensors are recommended to be installed on different faces of the satellite to maximize the field of view of the sun sensor array. Ideally, six coarse sun sensors should be installed on each of the six sides of the satellite (considering a CubeSat here). That way, even if the satellite is in a tumbling condition, the coarse sun sensor can at least serve as a rough attitude determination sensor and co-work with a magnetometer to perform a rough pointing job.
- Type: 1 axis, analog type coarse sun sensor
- Field of view: +/- 60 deg
- Accuracy: +/- 10 deg
- Supply voltage: 3.3V
- Power consumption: < 0.1mA
- Outer dimensions: 20.00 × 10.00 × 5.70 mm
- Mass: < 0.5 g
- Vcc, GND, and output lines are the only three pins in CSS100. An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) should be installed for the user to extract the information in a CSS100.