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Proceedings Paper

Towards a demonstrator for autonomous object detection on board Gaia
Author(s): Shan Mignot
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Paper Abstract

ESA's cornerstone mission Gaia aims at autonomously building a billion-star catalogue by detecting them on board. The scientific and technical requirements make this an engineering challenge. We have devised a prototype to assess achievable performances and assist in sizing the on-board electronics. It is based on a sequence of four tasks: calibrating the CCD data, estimating the sky background, identifying the objects and, finally, characterising them. Although inspired by previous similar studies (APM, Sextractor), this approach has been thoroughly revisited and finely adapted to Gaia. A mixed implementation is proposed which deals with the important data flow and the hard real-time constraints in hardware (FPGA) and entrusts more complex or variable processing to software. This segmentation also corresponds to subdividing the previous operations in pixel-based and object-based domains. Our hardware and software demonstrators show that the scientific specifications can be met, as regards completeness, precision and robustness while, technically speaking, our pipeline, optimised for area and power consumption, allows for selecting target components. Gaia's prime contractor, inspired by these developments, has also elected a mixed architecture, so that our R&D has proven relevant for the forthcoming generation of satellites.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 August 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7731, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 773132 (10 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857118
Show Author Affiliations
Shan Mignot, Observatoire de Paris (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7731:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2010: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Jacobus M. Oschmann Jr.; Mark C. Clampin; Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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