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Proceedings Paper

A relative navigation application of ULTOR technology for automated rendezvous and docking
Author(s): S. Joel Hannah
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Paper Abstract

NASA's initiative for space exploration will require the development of robotic servicing and unmanned resupply of permanent space borne facilities. An enabling technology to accomplish these goals is by sensor systems capable of Rendezvous, Proximity Operations and Docking (RPOD) missions. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) conducted an experiment whose objective intent was to characterize sensor systems for potential use in RPOD scenarios. The MSFC experiment integrated candidate sensors with the Small Air Sled (SAS) on the air bearing floor of the MSFC Flight Robotics Lab. Advanced Optical Systems Inc. (AOS) has developed several different sensor technologies for Automated Rendezvous and Docking (AR&D). For the MSFC experiment, we applied AOS ULTOR advanced correlation technology as an AR&D sensor. The ULTOR system applied Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) algorithms to provide six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) information for target position and attitude. In addition, ULTOR provided a data-link interface to the SAS for closed loop guidance and navigation commands. Navigational data from the ULTOR system was collected during the experiment and compared to a MSFC truth sensor for position and attitude estimation accuracy. This data will be presented as well as videos recording the progression of the SAS under ULTOR control to the target.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6220, Spaceborne Sensors III, 62200E (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665055
Show Author Affiliations
S. Joel Hannah, Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6220:
Spaceborne Sensors III
Richard T. Howard; Robert D. Richards, Editor(s)

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