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Proceedings Paper

Sensor system for comet approach and landing
Author(s): Roberto Bonsignori; Luca Maresi
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the overall configuration and performance of a comet approach and landing system (CALS), a space-borne sensor package for navigation toward a low-gravity celestial body in an interplanetary environment. The sensor system is aimed at satisfying the requirements of the Rosetta/CNSR (comet nucleus sample return) mission, whose objective is to land on a cometary surface and to retrieve samples that will be analyzed on the ground after Earth re-entry. Several constraints at the mission and spacecraft level make the configuration of a suitable sensor package a quite complex problem. The baseline system includes the following sensors, all mounted on a high-precision gimballed platform: (1) high-resolution camera, for detection of the comet at large distance and mapping at medium/short distance for ground-assisted landing site selection; (2) wide-angle camera with data processing equipment (star and target tracker), able to track simultaneously the irregular comet image and the surrounding stars for autonomous navigation; (3) laser topographic mapper for autonomous topography-assisted navigation in the final descent phase; (4) multitask radar altimeter for the on-board measurement of range, attitude, 3-axis velocity and surface roughness, with a microwave sounder section for the determination of subsurface structure and composition.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1991
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 1478, Sensors and Sensor Systems for Guidance and Navigation, (1 July 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.45624
Show Author Affiliations
Roberto Bonsignori, Officine Galileo SpA (Italy)
Luca Maresi, Officine Galileo SpA (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1478:
Sensors and Sensor Systems for Guidance and Navigation
Jack F. Wade; Avi Tuchman, Editor(s)

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