Little big star (tracker)

Maxar taps Jena-Optronik for the ASTRO CL star tracker for new proliferated low-Earth orbit (LEO) platform.


ASTRO CL, the smallest member of Jena-Optronik’s ASTRO star tracker family, has been chosen to support the new proliferated LEO satellite platform at Maxar. Each satellite will carry two ASTRO CL star trackers to enable its guidance, navigation and control.


“We are delighted that Maxar has chosen our ASTRO CL as the star tracker for their proliferated LEO constellation,” explains Steffen Schwarz, Vice President Sales & Marketing of Jena-Optronik.


The latest product of the successful ASTRO star tracker portfolio is significantly smaller in dimension while featuring almost the same high performance as the other ASTRO family members. The ASTRO CL has high volume and efficient production rates.


“Jena-Optronik established a dedicated production line to manufacture several hundred of the ASTRO CL sensors within a few months and prepare them to launch into space rapidly. In comparison: Our ASTRO APS star tracker had his maiden flight in 2013. It is one of the most utilized star tracker on satellite platforms worldwide and will soon reach a serial number of 500,” added Schwarz.


The new ASTRO CL has an extremely compact, lightweight and radiation-hardened optical head supporting the Attitude Determination and Control System (AOCS) of satellites and other spacecraft. Beside the usage as an AOCS sensor for small satellites, the ASTRO CL will also support small, medium and mega-constellation programs, as well as micro- and nano-satellites missions.


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