Star-tracker algorithm for smartphones and commercial micro-drones

Revital Marbel, Boaz Ben-Moshe, Roi Yozevitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper presents a star-tracking algorithm to determine the accurate global orientation of autonomous platforms such as nano satellites, UAVs, and micro-drones using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) mobile devices such as smartphones. Such star-tracking is especially challenging because it is based on existing cameras which capture a partial view of the sky and should work continuously and autonomously. The novelty of the proposed framework lies both in the computational efficiency and the ability of the star-tracker algorithm to cope with noisy measurements and outliers using affordable COTS mobile platforms. The presented algorithm was implemented and tested on several popular platforms including: Android mobile devices, commercial-micro drones, and Raspberry Pi. The expected accuracy of the reported orientation is [0.1°,0.5°].

Original languageEnglish
Article number1106
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Accurate orientation for autonomous robotics
  • Global orientation sensor
  • Star tracker algorithm


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