Microprocessor Controlled Earth Horizon Sensor

Needs Statement

Client manufactured analog satellite sensors and desired to create intelligent, programmable Earth Horizon Sensors for improved accuracy and flexibility.

Major Challenges

Create a real-time software application for a radiation-hardened microprocessor employing proprietary algorithms. Software must be operationally bug-free once deployed.


Advanced Decisions architected, designed and programmed a real-time firmware application. The application was designed for a proprietary printed circuit board to provide real-time control of a stepper motor and acquire radiometry data from an A/D. The data was subjected to proprietary algorithms based upon Earth horizon profile producing information for satellite pitch and roll control. A commercial RTOS was used for resource management and pre-emptive task switching. Stringent self-diagnostics check system health throughout the processor with multiple watchdog timers as backup in case of system error. The software was used on the NASA COBE Satellite and multiple LANDSAT satellites.

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Advanced Decisions

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1000 Lafayette Blvd, Suite 1100
Bridgeport CT 06604

TEL: 203.929.1400
FAX: 203.929.1470