DLR-Logo -> http://www.dlr.de
DLR Portal Home | Imprint | Privacy Policy | Contact | Deutsch
Fontsize: [-] Text [+]

Visual Tracking and Motion Estimation for an On-orbit Servicing of a Satellite

Oumer, Nassir W. (2016) Visual Tracking and Motion Estimation for an On-orbit Servicing of a Satellite. Dissertation, Universität Osnabrück.

[img] PDF

Official URL: https://repositorium.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2016092815002


This thesis addresses visual tracking of a non-cooperative as well as a partially cooperative satellite, to enable close-range rendezvous between a servicer and a target satellite. Visual tracking and estimation of relative motion between a servicer and a target satellite are critical abilities for rendezvous and proximity operation such as repairing and deorbiting. For this purpose, Lidar has been widely employed in cooperative rendezvous and docking missions. Despite its robustness to harsh space illumination, Lidar has high weight and rotating parts and consumes more power, thus undermines the stringent requirements of a satellite design. On the other hand, inexpensive on-board cameras can provide an effective solution, working at a wide range of distances. However, conditions of space lighting are particularly challenging for image based tracking algorithms, because of the direct sunlight exposure, and due to the glossy surface of the satellite that creates strong reflection and image saturation, which leads to difficulties in tracking procedures. In order to address these difficulties, the relevant literature is examined in the fields of computer vision, and satellite rendezvous and docking. Two classes of problems are identified and relevant solutions, implemented on a standard computer are provided. Firstly, in the absence of a geometric model of the satellite, the thesis presents a robust feature-based method with prediction capability in case of insufficient features, relying on a point-wise motion model. Secondly, we employ a robust model-based hierarchical position localization method to handle change of image features along a range of distances, and localize an attitude-controlled (partially cooperative) satellite. Moreover, the thesis presents a pose tracking method addressing ambiguities in edge-matching, and a pose detection algorithm based on appearance model learning. For the validation of the methods, real camera images and ground truth data, generated with a laboratory tet bed similar to space conditions are used. The experimental results indicate that camera based methods provide robust and accurate tracking for the approach of malfunctioning satellites in spite of the difficulties associated with specularities and direct sunlight. Also exceptional lighting conditions associated to the sun angle are discussed, aimed at achieving fully reliable localization system in a certain mission.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/109646/
Document Type:Thesis (Dissertation)
Title:Visual Tracking and Motion Estimation for an On-orbit Servicing of a Satellite
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Oumer, Nassir W.nassir.oumer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:September 2016
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Number of Pages:190
Keywords:visual Tracking satellite servicing model-based tracking Model-free tracking non-cooperative satellite motion estimation
Institution:Universität Osnabrück
Department:Institut für Informatik
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:20 Dec 2016 11:35
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:06

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Help & Contact
electronic library is running on EPrints 3.3.12
Copyright © 2008-2017 German Aerospace Center (DLR). All rights reserved.