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Proceedings Paper

Laser range and bearing finder for autonomous missions
Author(s): Stephen R. Granade
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Paper Abstract

NASA has recently re-confirmed their interest in autonomous systems as an enabling technology for future missions. In order for autonomous missions to be possible, highly-capable relative sensor systems are needed to determine an object’s distance, direction, and orientation. This is true whether the mission is autonomous in-space assembly, rendezvous and docking, or rover surface navigation. Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. has developed a wide-angle laser range and bearing finder (RBF) for autonomous space missions. The laser RBF has a number of features that make it well-suited for autonomous missions. It has an operating range of 10 m to 5 km, with a 5° field of view. Its wide field of view removes the need for scanning systems such as gimbals, eliminating moving parts and making the sensor simpler and space qualification easier. Its range accuracy is 1% or better; its bearing accuracy, 0.1°. It is designed to operate either as a stand-alone sensor or in tandem with a sensor that returns range, bearing, and orientation at close ranges, such as NASA’s Advanced Video Guidance Sensor. We have assembled the initial prototype and are currently testing it. We will discuss the laser RBF’s design and specifications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5798, Spaceborne Sensors II, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.603550
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen R. Granade, Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5798:
Spaceborne Sensors II
Peter Tchoryk Jr.; Brian Holz, Editor(s)

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