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Proceedings Paper

Analysis and design of solid corner cube reflectors for a space navigation application
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Paper Abstract

Proximity operations between orbital vehicles require precise knowledge of relative navigation states. Retro-reflectors may be used by proximity operations navigation sensors as part of the navigation sensor system, to indicate the position of fixed points on one of the vehicles so that relative state data may be calculated. Use of corner cube retro-reflectors in an orbital navigation sensor required detailed ray-tracing analysis to define the expected return signal levels, signal/noise ratios, and predicted error effects due to reflector geometry and optical characteristics. Conventional corner cube reflector images would have displayed image artifacts due to corner cube bevels, interfering with software interpretation of sensor image data. This design avoided software errors due to bevel effects. Special optical design features were required to permit use of multiple target sets, enabling successful tracking over a 1 to 200 meter effective range. We have used this mounting scheme to create corner cube targets for use with the Advanced Video Guidance Sensor (AVGS) on the Orbital Express mission. We discuss our design, the finite-element analysis done on the design, and the results of sensor performance testing with the targets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5798, Spaceborne Sensors II, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.621275
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen R. Granade, Advanced Optical Systems, Inc. (United States)
Jerry LeCroy, The Boeing Co. (United States)

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

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