Miniaturized Sun Sensor

Using the sun for orientation and attitude determination


The Miniaturized Sun Sensor is currently under development and primarily meant for satellites, sounding rockets and space craft’s attitude determination. It’ also has other uses in more traditional and industrial applications where automated systems have use of the sun or light intensity as a reference point to perform certain operations.

The Miniaturized Sun Sensor (small grey square on green coloured plate) on this graphical presentation of NTNU’s Student satellite 1U “FramSat”.


The sun sensor is very small, only 35 mm across and less than 80 grams including full system interface and will fit onto any space vehicle from nano satellite and up.

Ideal positioning

The miniaturized sun sensor has a 180° view of field and detects the direction of the sun and provides the ideal positioning of the vehicles solar arrays.

The miniaturized sun sensor has high tolerances to solar flares, SEU, albedo and straylight and can withstain the extreme temperature variations in space.


  • Functional Output Sun direction in spacecraft frame
  • Performance (over full thermal & dynamic environment) Angular accuracy (including tolerance to solar flares, SEU, albedo and straylight) Margin: 70% (=100%-30%)0.16-0.5°
  • Field of View full cone >180°
  • Interfaces Full system Mass Less than 80 grams
  • Sensor Dimensions (without electronics) Max 35mm in all directions (included packaging)
  • Electronic Dimensions 25mm + packaging
  • Average power consumption <10 mW Supply voltage 5V internal, 28V or 50V bus voltage (can be tailored)
  • Data interface Digital Design and PA Redundancy
  • More than double, almost 100% triple Lifetime ≥15 years in GEO Thermal cycles >7000
  • Reliability <100FIT @30°C
  • Radiation Electronic components: 100 Krad
  • Optics: 300Krad
  • Detector (if any): 1Mrad
  • SEU tolerant
  • ITAR ITAR free
  • Environment Dynamics Up to 11300S/s
  • Temperature Storage and operational: -40 to +75°C
  • Extension for Solar Array accommodation: -80 to +100°C (TBC)
  • Vibration and shock Sine: 20 g peak
  • Random: 27 g RMSShock: 3000 g from 2 to 10kHz


Attitude determination for sounding rockets, satelites and space crafts

Commercial usage and aerospace
Available for license production

Related markets

  • Space
  • Energy
  • Industry
  • Infrastructure


  • Space Instruments & Systems

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