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Proceedings Paper

Active sensor system for automatic rendezvous and docking
Author(s): Richard T. Howard; Thomas C. Bryan; Michael L. Book; John Larkin Jackson
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Paper Abstract

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed an active sensor system, the ideo guidance sensor (VGS), to provide near-range relative position and attitude data. The VGS will be part of an automatic rendezvous and docking system. The VGS determines the relative positions and attitudes between the active sensor and the passive target. It works by using laser diodes to illuminate the retro-reflectors in the target, a solid-state camera to detect the return from the target retro-reflectors, and a frame grabber and digital signal processor to convert the video information into relative positions and attitudes. The current sensor design is the result of several years of development and testing, and it is being built to fly as an experiment payload on the space shuttle. The VGS system is designed to operate with the target completely visible within a relative azimuth of +/- 10.5 degrees and a relative elevation of +/- 8 degrees. The system will acquire and track and target within that field-of-view anywhere from 1.0 meters to 110 meters range at any relative roll angle and relative pitch and yaw attitudes of up to +/- 10 degrees. The data is output from the sensor at 5 Hz, and the target and sensor software have been designed to permit two independent sensors to operate simultaneously for redundancy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3065, Laser Radar Technology and Applications II, (6 August 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.281001
Show Author Affiliations
Richard T. Howard, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Thomas C. Bryan, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Michael L. Book, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
John Larkin Jackson, Micro Craft, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3065:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications II
Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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