Monolithically integrated SiC sun sensor for Space (SunSensor)

Themes: Advanced sensor materials, MEMS Technology, Micro/Nano System Integration and Reliability

Sun sensors, which are used to determine the satellite orientation towards the sun, are a vital part of the satellite attitude control. Current commercial available sun sensors are too large and costly to be integrated in the small satellites, e.g., nanosats. Due to the low costs of these satellites, they enable a wide range of applications which otherwise would not be possible or cost-effective. By developing a sun sensor that is fully integrated on a single substrate, the overall size of the sensor can be significantly reduced and costly extra calibration is avoided. By using SiC as material, we secure high performance and high reliability under harsh environment. In addition, the sensor will not be sensitive to reflections of the earth, as it uses the parts of the light spectrum absorbed by the atmosphere.

Project data

Researchers: Lina Sarro, GuoQi Zhang, Sten Vollebregt, Joost Romijn
Starting date: May 2018
Closing date: May 2022
Sponsor: NWT-TTW
Users: Lens R&D, International Aviation Support
Contact: Sten Vollebregt