In late 90’s, Sodern developed an Autonomous star tracker line based on a 1k x 1k CCD: the SED16, 26, & 36 family. The flight qualification of the SED16 was achieved on the SPOT5 satellite in May 2002. More than 200 SEDx6 units have been launched and have accumulated more than 12,750,000 operating hours by the end of 2021.
With the last units to be delivered in 2022 and 2023, we will reach a total number of 292 star trackers.
GEO: 96 SEDx6’s in flight.
LEO: 101 SEDx6’s in flight.
Some notable missions flying a SEDx6 star tracker include the following:
- Earth observation missions
SPOT5: A French civil Earth observation satellite for remote detection
Pleiades: A constellation of 4 Earth observation satellites manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space for high resolution, commercial imagery.
- Transport missions
Cygnus: Manufactured by Northrop Grumman, the Cygnus also services the international space station.
- Deep space
Earth’s Moon: Japan’s “Selene”: 1st lunar mission for Sodern
Venus: Japan’s « Planet C » mission
Ceres: NASA Dawn mission