Digital Sun Sensor (±50°)

Spacecraft Sun Sensors for
Attitude and Guidance Control
CubeSats and Small Satellites customized to mission requirements.
Adcole Maryland Aerospace
specializes in end-to-end small satellites and CubeSats that combine the flight heritage of our high reliability, radiation hardened space systems with New Space innovations. The result is more affordable, risk minimized spacecraft.

Technical Questions:

Reliability that's universal
Proven space hardware with decades of space flight heritage


Field of View:         128° x 128°

                               (each sensor)

Accuracy:              ±0.25

LSB Size:                0.5° 


Number of Measurement Axes:  2 (each sensor)

Number of Sensors:  5 typical per electronics. 1 to 8 sensors can also be used. Electronics selects the sensor with highest sun intensity. Sensor selection via spacecraft command is also available.

Note: 4π steradians (full sphere) coverage can be achieved with 5 sensors.

Digital Sun Sensor (±32°)

Adcole Two-Axis Sun Sensors are used for attitude determination, sun acquisition, solar-array pointing and fail-safe recovery. Systems have flown with 1 to 8 sensor heads per processing electronics.

Adcole ±32° Digital Sun Sensors provide better accuracy and resolution over a smaller field of view than the ±64° DSS. They are typically used for medium accuracy attitude determination. Systems can be configured with one or more optical heads per electronics.


Field of View:         ±32° x ±32°

                               (each sensor)

Accuracy:              ±0.1

LSB Size:                0.125° 

Input Power:          28 ± 7 Vdc

                               (Other ranges available. Typical

                                power dissipation 1 W)

Output:      Serial data stream consisting of two 10-bit data words (typically) plus one dedicated sun presence bit.
Note: One word per axis, each consisting of 9 bits of sun angle data, and 1 identity bit.

Weight:            Sensor 0.66 lb (0.3 kg) nominal

                         Electronics 2.2 lb nominal

Size (exclusive of connector) 

     Sensor 3.8” x 3.7” x 2.1” (96 x 94 x 53 mm)

     Electronics 7.5” x 5” x 2.1”

                        (190 x 127 x 53 mm)


Number of Measurement Axes:  2 (each sensor)

Number of Sensors:  2 (1 each redundant side)

Adcole Digital Sun Sensors provide a large field of view with moderate accuracy and resolution. Each system consists of one or more optical heads, each of which provides two axes of sun angle data. The ±64° DSS, when configured with five heads per electronics, can provide full spherical coverage (4π sr)

Digital Sun Sensors

Sun Sensors for Attitude Determination and Control

Maryland Location:

2145 Priest Bridge Dr, Ste15
Crofton, MD 21114

Telephone: (410) 451-2505
Fax: (410) 451-2507

Massachusetts Location:

669 Forest Street
Marlborough, MA 01752

Telephone: (508) 485-9100
Fax: (508) 481-6142

Start your mission:

Adcole - Established 1957: From the dawn of the space age to the forefront of the New Space Revolution. 

Heritage and mission History 

Reliable, affordable SmallSats, CubeSats , ADACS and New Space components.