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Proceedings Paper

POSE algorithms for automated docking
Author(s): Andrew F. Heaton; Richard T. Howard
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Paper Abstract

POSE (relative position and attitude) can be computed in many different ways. Given a sensor that measures bearing to a finite number of spots corresponding to known features (such as a target) of a spacecraft, a number of different algorithms can be used to compute the POSE. NASA has sponsored the development of a flash LIDAR proximity sensor called the Vision Navigation Sensor (VNS) for use by the Orion capsule in future docking missions. This sensor generates data that can be used by a variety of algorithms to compute POSE solutions inside of 15 meters, including at the critical docking range of approximately 1-2 meters. Previously NASA participated in a DARPA program called Orbital Express that achieved the first automated docking for the American space program. During this mission a large set of high quality mated sensor data was obtained at what is essentially the docking distance. This data set is perhaps the most accurate truth data in existence for docking proximity sensors in orbit. In this paper, the flight data from Orbital Express is used to test POSE algorithms at 1.22 meters range. Two different POSE algorithms are tested for two different Fields-of-View (FOVs) and two different pixel noise levels. The results of the analysis are used to predict future performance of the POSE algorithms with VNS data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8044, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications IV, 80440T (23 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.887022
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew F. Heaton, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard T. Howard, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8044:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications IV
Khanh D. Pham; Henry Zmuda; Joseph Lee Cox; Greg J. Meyer, Editor(s)

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