HubbleSite
Reaction Wheels
  Intro to the Pointing Control System
Getting to the Point Gyros

Pointing Control System Introduction

Pointing Primer

Diagrams

 

THE FINE GUIDANCE SENSORS

SPACECRAFT SYSTEMS


iming and steadying a telescope in space is somewhat like trying to photograph just one person on a crowded beach — from the deck of a distant, swaying boat. Hubble uses a collection of special tools that work together to maneuver the telescope and keep it aimed precisely on its target during an observation.

 

FOCUS FURTHER:

Lockheed Martin

 

Gyroscopes   Reaction Wheels   Fine Guidance Sensors
The gyroscopes, Hubble's pointing assistants, always face the same direction, like the needle of a compass. They sense the telescope's angular motion and provide a short-term reference point to help Hubble zero in on its target. Reaction wheels are Hubble's "steering" system. The reaction wheels spin one way, and Hubble spins the other. Flight software commands the reaction wheels to spin, accelerating or decelerating as needed to rotate the telescope toward a new target.

Three Fine Guidance Sensors are Hubble's targeting devices. They aim the telescope by locking onto "guide stars" and measuring the position of the telescope relative to the target. The sensors provide the precise reference point from which the telescope can begin repositioning.

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