Intertech-Pira published an interview with Guy Meynants, VP R&D at CMOSIS and speaker at the upcoming ISE 2011 conference, talks about digital Sun-sensor on-a-chip for space navigation.
Guy says: "A sun sensor is used as a part of the attitude and orbit control systems in a satellite or a spacecraft. It searches for the location of the sun in a section of the sky, extracts the centroid of the sun to sub-pixel resolution and then tracks the sun position. This information gives a partial solution to the attitude of the spacecraft. Common sun sensors rely on separate image sensors and an electronic processing unit to extract the sun information. That is rather bulky and complex. We have integrated all of this in a single sensor. This allows a much more compact system. In the presentation, the architecture of that chip is presented and its key performance data is given."