Title: Autonomous vision-based detection of non-stellar objects flying in formation with camera point of view

Authors: M. Benn; J.L. Jørgensen

Addresses: DTU Space, Elektrovej 327, 45253438, Denmark ' DTU Space, Elektrovej 327, 45253438, Denmark

Abstract: The µ-advanced stellar compass (µASC) is a camera system which autonomously can provide attitude information based on the visible stars. An extended functionality of the µASC, called the vision-based sensor (VBS), enables the camera system to render rendezvous and docking navigation information for a formation flying spacecraft. The VBS system facilitates different operation modes, enabling i.e. inertial line-of-sight (LoS) solutions for any spacecraft reflecting more light than an Mv7 star. This paper will focus on the LoS solutions of the VBS system, with a thorough analysis of inflight performance and future mission aspects. The captured data used for the analysis presented in this paper, includes centroids from the VBS camera head unit (CHU) dedicated for inertial LoS operation and from the two standard startracker CHUs. By combining the data from these three CHUs, a total of 300 hours of operation distributed over the entire year is included in the thorough data analysis and performance characterisation.

Keywords: ASC; advanced stellar compass; vision based sensors; VBS; PRISMA; spacecraft formations; formation flying; spacecraft rendezvous; spacecraft docking; navigation sensors; camera systems; attitude information; visible stars; inertial LoS; line-of-sight.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2014.060116

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2014 Vol.2 No.1, pp.49 - 62

Received: 05 Jul 2013
Accepted: 28 Oct 2013

Published online: 13 May 2014 *

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