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Overview of Terrain Relative Navigation Approaches for Precise Lunar Landing

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2 Author(s)
Johnson, A.E. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA ; Montgomery, J.F.

The driving precision landing requirement for the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology project is to autonomously land within 100 m of a predetermined location on the lunar surface. Traditional lunar landing approaches based on inertial sensing do not have the navigational precision to meet this requirement. The purpose of Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) is to augment inertial navigation by providing position or bearing measurements relative to known surface landmarks. From these measurements, the navigational precision can be reduced to a level that meets the 100 m requirement. There are three different TRN functions: global position estimation, local position estimation and velocity estimation. These functions can be achieved with active range sensing or passive imaging. This paper gives a survey of many TRN approaches and then presents some high fidelity simulation results for contour matching and area correlation approaches to TRN using active sensors. Since TRN requires an a-priori reference map, the paper concludes by describing past and future lunar imaging and digital elevation map data sets available for this purpose.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2008 IEEE

Date of Conference:

1-8 March 2008