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Navigation Camera (NavCam)

NSSDCA ID: 2004-006A-17

Mission Name: Rosetta


The Navigation Camera (NavCam) is a part of the Attitude and Orbital Control System for the Rosetta Orbiter. It comprises two identical CCD cameras to provide for complete redundancy and single event upset. The purpose of the NavCam system is to provide imaging, autonomous acquisition and tracking of star-fields and extended sources, and autonomous navigation for Rosetta.

NavCam has 5-degree by 5-degree field of view and 12-bit 1024 x 1024 pixel resolution, allowing for visual tracking and imaging during the flybys of asteroids 21 Lutetia and 2867 Steins and finally during the approach and orbit of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The effective focal length for NavCam is 152.5 millimeters, the pixel size is 13 micrometers, and the angular pixel size is 17.6 arcseconds. The aperture size and f/number for non-attenuated imaging modes is 70 millimeters and f/2.2, respectively. For attenuated imaging mode the aperture size and f/number are 30 millimeters and f/5.1, respectively.

NavCam was designed and built by Galileo Avionica, a contracting company for the European Space Agency, using the heritage of existing models to satisfy the requirements of the autonomous navigation component for Rosetta.

Alternate Names

  • Optical Navigation Camera
  • Rosetta/NavigationCamera(NavCam)
  • urn:esa:psa:context:instrument:ro.navcam

Funding Agency

  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail

Selected References

  • Morley, T., et al., Rosetta Navigation from Reactivation until Arrival at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Proceedings 25st International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics, Munich, Germany, 2015.
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