Recent advances in the application of panoramic imaging technology have resulted in the design of a single sensor attitude determination system, known as the panoramic annular lens attitude determination system (PALADS). The primary component of the attitude sensor is the panoramic annular lens (PAL), which provides a full hemispherical field of view surrounding the spacecraft. This allows for the simultaneous detection of multiple attitude reference sources, such as the earth and the sun or moon. The position of each reference source in the image plane translates into a viewing angle between the sensor's optical axis and the reference source. The data points associated with the reference sources are extracted from the image plane using digital image processing techniques. The X, Y, Z positional data of the spacecraft must be provided as inputs to PALADS. The extraction of two or more reference points from the image plane leads to the successful determination of three-axis spacecraft attitude.© (1995) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.