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Flight Demonstration of Autonomous Noncooperative Rendezvous in Low Earth Orbit

Gaias, Gabriella and Ardaens, Jean-Sébastien (2018) Flight Demonstration of Autonomous Noncooperative Rendezvous in Low Earth Orbit. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 41 (6), pp. 1337-1354. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). DOI: 10.2514/1.G003239 ISSN 0731-5090

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Official URL: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.G003239


This paper presents ultimate design, implementation, and in-flight performance of the spaceborne guidance navigation and control system which enabled the Autonomous Vision Approach Navigation and Target Identification (AVANTI) experiment; a flight demonstration developed by the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and carried out in November 2016. Designed to prove the viability to perform far- to mid-range proximity operations with respect to a noncooperative flying object using only optical angle measurements, AVANTI realized the first autonomous vision-based rendezvous to a passive target spacecraft in low Earth orbit. Within this experiment, the DLR Earth-observation BIROS satellite approached down to less than 50 m of inter-satellite distance the BEESAT-4 CubeSat, previously released in orbit by BIROS itself. To this end, a dedicated spaceborne formation- flying system carried out relative navigation and maneuver planning tasks. Moreover, it took over BIROS orientation and maneuvering capabilities to steer the spacecraft along a passively safe rendezvous trajectory. During AVANTI, the images taken by BIROS constituted the only source of relative navigation information. In the absence of external, independent, and precise navigation data of the target satellite, AVANTI performances have been assessed against the ground-based post-facto reprocessing of the images collected in flight.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/115566/
Document Type:Article
Title:Flight Demonstration of Autonomous Noncooperative Rendezvous in Low Earth Orbit
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Gaias, Gabrielladlr/gsocUNSPECIFIED
Ardaens, Jean-Sébastiendlr/gsocUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.2514/1.G003239
Page Range:pp. 1337-1354
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Keywords:active debris removal, noncooperative rendezvous, angles-only navigation, autonomy, formation flying, flight demonstration
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 Infrastruktur und Unterstützung für Raumflugbetrieb
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Deposited By: Gaias, Gabriella
Deposited On:20 Nov 2017 17:07
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:13

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