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Vision-based localization for on-orbit servicing of a partially cooperative satellite

Oumer, Nassir W. and Panin, Giorgio and Mühlbauer, Quirin and Tseneklidou, Anastasia (2015) Vision-based localization for on-orbit servicing of a partially cooperative satellite. Acta Astronautica, 117, pp. 19-37. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.07.025 ISBN 0094-5765 ISSN 0094-5765

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576515003069


This paper proposes ground-in-the-loop, model-based visual localization system based on transmitted images to ground, to aid rendezvous and docking maneuvers between a servicer and a target satellite. In particular, we assume to deal with a partially cooperative target, i.e. passive and without fiducial markers, but supposed at least to keep a controlled attitude, up to small fluctuations, so that the approach mainly involves translational motion. For the purpose of localization, video cameras provide an effective and relatively inexpensive solution, working at a wide range of distances with an increasing accuracy and robustness during the approach. However, illumination conditions in space are especially challenging, due to the direct sunlight exposure and to the glossy surface of a satellite, that creates strong reflections and saturations and therefore a high level of background clutter and missing detections. We employ a monocular camera for mid-range tracking View the MathML source(20–5m) and stereo camera at close-range View the MathML source(5–0.5m), with the respective detection and tracking methods, both using intensity edges and robustly dealing with the above issues. Our tracking system has been extensively verified at the facility of the European Proximity Operations Simulator (EPOS) of DLR, which is a very realistic ground simulation able to reproduce sunlight conditions through a high power floodlight source, satellite surface properties using multilayer insulation foils, as well as orbital motion trajectories with ground-truth data, by means of two 6 DOF industrial robots. Results from this large dataset show the effectiveness and robustness of our method against the above difficulties.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/100662/
Document Type:Article
Title:Vision-based localization for on-orbit servicing of a partially cooperative satellite
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Oumer, Nassir W.nassir.oumer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Panin, Giorgiogiorgio.panin (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mühlbauer, Quirinquirin.muehlbauer (at) ohb.deUNSPECIFIED
Tseneklidou, Anastasiatsenekli (at) in.tum.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:December 2015
Journal or Publication Title:Acta Astronautica
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.07.025
Page Range:pp. 19-37
Chern, Rock Jeng-ShingUNSPECIFIED
Bonnal, ChristopheUNSPECIFIED
Graziani, FilippoUNSPECIFIED
Kumar, Krishna D.UNSPECIFIED
Series Name:Elsevier Acta Astronautica
Keywords:Satellite servicing; Rendezvous and capture; Camera-based motion estimation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Multisensorielle Weltmodellierung
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (since 2013) > Perception and Cognition
Deposited By: Oumer, Nassir
Deposited On:08 Dec 2015 20:41
Last Modified:08 Dec 2015 20:41

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