High-precision optical telescopes for satellites tracking

In 2008-2011 I was with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Precision Electromechanical Systems, ITMO University (Saint-Petersburg, Russia). I participated in a project on control systems design and implementation for a series of high-precision optical telescopes.

These telescopes are used in various applications, and satellite tracking is one of these tasks. Each telescope is equipped with a laser-based range sensor able to measure the distance from the telescope to a satellite, and the measurements from a network of telescopes are used, e.g., for GLONASS navigation. To be able to measure the distance, the telescope must track the rotating satellite with a minimal tracking error standard deviation. Such accuracy is provided by the following triple: gearless electrical drives, high-precision optical encoders, and control systems. In this project, I was a member of the control system design team, and the solutions I have designed are currently under exploitation, e.g., the telescope located at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which you can see on the picture. 

The project results were also disseminated in the public sector via several publications in general-purpose journals and reports on TV news. Here and here you can find more photos and information about the project (in Russian).