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Optical Engineering

Three-dimensional orientation vector estimation for sub-components of space object imagery
Author(s): Xun Du; Stanley C. Ahalt; Bruce E. Stribling
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Paper Abstract

We describe a model-based image analysis system that automatically estimates the 3-D orientation vectors of satellites and their subcomponents by analyzing images obtained from a ground-based optical surveillance system. We adopt a two-step approach: pose estimates are derived from comparisons with a model database and pose refinements are derived from photogrammetric information. The model database is formed by representing each available training image by a set of derived geometric primitives. To obtain fast access to the model database and to increase the probability of early successful matching, a novel index-hashing method is introduced. An affine point-matching method is also introduced for improving system performance on a wide variety of satellite shapes. We present recent results, which include our efforts at isolating and estimating orientation vectors from degraded imagery on a significant database of satellites.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Opt. Eng. 37(3) doi: 10.1117/1.601912
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 37, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Xun Du, The Ohio State Univ. (United States)
Stanley C. Ahalt, The Ohio State Univ. (United States)
Bruce E. Stribling, Air Force Maui Optical Station (United States)


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