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Proceedings Paper

Calibration procedures for the space vision system experiment
Author(s): Steve G. MacLean; Heidi Pinkney
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Paper Abstract

In 1986, a space-qualified version of the real-time photogrammetry system invented by Pinkney and Perratt in 1978 was developed under contract to the Canadian Astronaut Program by Spar Aerospace and Leigh Instruments Ltd. as a space-flight experiment called the Space Vision System (SVS). Originally scheduled to fly in March of 1987, the SVS is now slated to fly on the shuttle in September of 1992 as part of a series of experiments called Canex-2. Over a period of three days the functionality of the SVS will be verified through a series of proximity operations with a test satellite called the Canadian Target Assembly (CTA). This hardware and the flight experiment are briefly described in a previous paper by Pinkney One aspect of flight preparation that is crucial to the success of the experiment is the calibration procedure utilized by the SVS. On-orbit conditions present many difficulties that are not typical of the laboratory. Extreme temperatures cause the shape of the cargo bay, which is the reference coordinate system for the photogrammetry platform, to thermally deform every 45 minutes. The pan/tilt mechanism for the current shuttle closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras was never intended to be used for photogrammetry. Experience gained in 1984 on the Canex-1 mission showed that the pan/tilt mechanisms could be stalled by the mechanical stiffness of their own power wires, and because their angles are only command encoded the pan/tilt information available to the operator in the aft flight deck was generally suspect. This paper deals with the SVS calibration techniques and the procedures associated with the calibration of the current shuttle cameras and the photogrammetry platform, both in preparation for flight and on orbit. It has been shown in recent simulations that this self-consistent approach contributes to the position and orientation accuracies that would allow an operator who uses SVS displays to control the shuttle's remote manipulator system (RMS), or 'Canadarm', with substantially more precision than is available at present.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 1991
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1526, Industrial Vision Metrology, (1 September 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.48241
Show Author Affiliations
Steve G. MacLean, Canadian Space Agency (Canada)
Heidi Pinkney, National Research Council Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1526:
Industrial Vision Metrology
Sabry F. El-Hakim, Editor(s)

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