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Proceedings Paper

Toward an autonomous feature-based pointing system for planetary missions
Author(s): Gabriel Udomkesmalee; George E. Sevaston; Richard H. Stanton
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Paper Abstract

Although the analytical groundwork for understanding two-dimensional object images and various aspects of computer vision has been laid, we have not yet applied these concepts to automating the process of obtaining science images during space exploration missions. Our current approach in specifying pointing-command sequences relies heavily on target predicts, based on predicted target and spacecraft ephemerides, that propagate the target position as a function of time during pointing operations. However, because the actual position of the target is never measured on board, the tracking loop must be closed through the ground processing operation. This round-trip communication-time limit can place severe limits on pointing accuracy, particularly during brief moments of closest approach. In this paper, we formulate and outline autonomous feature-based pointing requirements that can support a wide range of space science missions. The issues addressed include target-position estimation; acquisition and tracking of unresolved, partially viewed, and close-up targets; operation, and validation of point designs. Detailed algorithms and test results based on Voyager image data are also presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 1993
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 1949, Space Guidance, Control, and Tracking, (23 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.157074
Show Author Affiliations
Gabriel Udomkesmalee, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
George E. Sevaston, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Richard H. Stanton, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1949:
Space Guidance, Control, and Tracking
George E. Sevaston; Richard H. Stanton, Editor(s)

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