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A Terrain Relative Navigation sensor enabled by multi-core processing

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5 Author(s)
James Alexander ; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109 ; Yang Cheng ; William Zheng ; Nikolas Trawny
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Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) provides accurate position estimates to spacecraft for precision planetary landing and autonomous primitive body exploration. A bolt-on instrument that provides the sensing and computing required for TRN will result in more accurate and robust position estimates and will simplify TRN validation. Multi-core processors provide the significant computational capability required for TRN, are straightforward to program and are being developed for space applications. We have implemented two versions of TRN on a multi-core processor and tested them in a laboratory setting. For primitive-body navigation we have demonstrated 4 second TRN updates with accuracies on order 1% of altitude. For a Mars landing application we have shown two second updates while taking out kilometer scale position uncertainties.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

3-10 March 2012