The ComPol mission will observe the polarization of X-rays emitted by Cygnus X-1, a black hole binary system in the Cygnus constellation. It will be part of a 3U CubeSat design, which in general is limited in size and power budget. However, to fulfill its scientific goal it requires high precision in determination of the satellite’s pointing direction. Instead of a ready-made off-the-shelf system, we plan to design and build a custom star tracker to satisfy ComPol’s demanding requirements, while keeping power consumption and volumetric footprint as low as possible. Custom development of such an optical system will not only reward the LRSM with a slim and power-efficient optical component, but also with valuable knowledge in the field of optical design and development for future projects. Performing the entire development from design to testing, including hardware and interfaces to the platform, we plan to validate the device on the upcoming mission IOV-1 on the International Space Station.
(TUM Physics E18), Prof.