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Optical guidance for autonomous landing of spacecraft

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3 Author(s)
T. Miso ; Res. Div. on Space Eng., Inst. of Space & Astronaut. Sci., Kanagawa, Japan ; T. Hashimoto ; K. Ninomiya

An autonomous rendezvous guidance scheme for spacecraft to descend to small celestial bodies by using optical information is presented. First, a new guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) method based on fixation-point (FP) inheritance is proposed. A spacecraft can safely descend toward the target point on the celestial body by tracking and autonomously renewing the FPs on the surface. Next, we deal with the method of extracting the FPs. A spatial band-pass filter (BPF) is applied to pictures taken to enhance features having comparable size with the tracking window. Local variance of the filtered image is used as a criterion of the extraction. Then, the relative information between the spacecraft and the celestial body (position, velocity, attitude, etc.) is calculated from the image coordinates and the range measurements of the FPs from the spacecraft. To suppress observation noise and improve navigation accuracy, an application of the extended Kalman filter is also presented. Finally, simulations are conducted to verify the guidance precision and the fuel consumption of the proposed guidance scheme

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 2 )