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Proceedings Paper

Orbital Express Autonomous Rendezvous and Capture Sensor System (ARCSS) flight test results
Author(s): Manny R. Leinz; Chih-Tsai Chen; Michael W. Beaven; Thomas P. Weismuller; David L. Caballero; William B. Gaumer; Peter W. Sabasteanski; Peter A. Scott; Mark A. Lundgren
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Paper Abstract

The Orbital Express flight demonstration was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and validate key technologies required for cost-effective servicing of next-generation satellites. A contractor team led by Boeing Advanced Network and Space Systems built two mated spacecraft launched atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on March 8, 2007. The low earth orbit test flight demonstrated on orbit transfer of hydrazine propellant, transfer of a spare battery between spacecraft and the ability to replace a spacecraft computer on orbit. It also demonstrated autonomous rendezvous and capture (AR&C) using advanced sensor, guidance, and relative navigation hardware and software. This paper summarizes the results of the on-orbit performance testing of the ARCSS (Autonomous Rendezvous and Capture Sensor System). ARCSS uses onboard visible, infrared and laser rangefinder sensors to provide real time data and imagery to the onboard sensor computer. The Boeing-developed Vis-STAR software executing on the sensor computer uses the ARCSS data to provide precision real-time client bearing, range and attitude as needed, from long range to soft capture. The paper summarizes the ARCSS and Vis-STAR on orbit performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2008
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6958, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications II, 69580A (1 May 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.779595
Show Author Affiliations
Manny R. Leinz, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Chih-Tsai Chen, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Michael W. Beaven, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Thomas P. Weismuller, The Boeing Co. (United States)
David L. Caballero, The Boeing Co. (United States)
William B. Gaumer, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Peter W. Sabasteanski, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Peter A. Scott, The Boeing Co. (United States)
Mark A. Lundgren, The Boeing Co. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6958:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications II
Richard T. Howard; Pejmun Motaghedi, Editor(s)

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