Applied metrology and Engineering
01-06-2022 - 30-09-2023
Monitoring the attitude of a large structure with respect to a reference system, for instance the parabolic antenna of a satellite, is a relatively frequent issue that may appear not only in space applications. If the monitoring must be performed with a contactless method and an accuracy better than 10 seconds of arc, the issue has a technological relevance and must be coped with a dedicated R&D project.
ATOM (ATtitude Optical Monitor) is a project funded by ESA in the framework of the ARTES program for telecommunications and copes the issue with a an optical 'head', whose TRL will be between 4 and 5, that is able to link the relative attitude of two targets: one solidally attached to the inertial reference system of the satellite and the other to the frame of the object to be monitored.
INRiM is the coordinator of the project and the device will be developed in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space Italia. The optical head will be of fundamental importance to the deployment of the new generation of telecommunication satellites that demand larger and larger parabolic antennas that must be very precisely oriented.
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