19.1EC.01 - PROTOTYPING OF BEARINGS-ONLY GUIDANCE FOR RENDEZVOUS IN NRO ORBITS - EXPRO+

Publication Date: 02-APR-19

Program ref.: Technology Developme
Tender Type: C
Tender Status: INTENDED
Price Range: 200-500 KEURO
Budget Ref.: E/0901-01 - Technology Developme
Proc. Prop.: NO
Special Prov.: BE+DK+FR+DE+IT+NL+ES+SE+CH+GB+IE+AT+NO+FI+PT+GR+LU+CZ+RO+PL+EE+HU
Establishment: ESTEC
Responsible: Benoit, Alain
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A - Not apply

Bearings-Only rendezvous consists in approaching a target in the far range having only angular measurements to this target. This technique has the potential to significantly reduce the mass of the navigations sensors required for rendezvous, since angular measurements can be obtained with an optical camera, which has significantly lower mass and power requirements. Nevertheless, since the navigation problem is unobservable without range measurements, smart guidance must be implemented to ensure the manoeuvres performed allow range estimation and ensure navigation filter convergence, which is compulsory for autonomous rendezvous. This technique has thepotential to reduce mission cost by increasing autonomy and reducing requirements for the rendezvous in exploration missions such asthe Cis-Lunar Transport Habitat (CTH) or sample return missions. In addition, this technique can serve as a low cost backup optionfor missions with range sensors when a failure prevents the availability of range measurements, without the need of redundant equipment. Nevertheless, this technology has only been demonstrated with detailed Model-In-the-Loop (MIL) simulations up to TRL3 in circular orbits, and even less for elliptical orbits. In order to have such a technology ready for exploration missions, it is proposed to develop a hardware in the loop test bench to show the feasibility of solving the required estimation and optimization problems forelliptical NRO orbits inside a representative flight processor. The following tasks are envisaged: 1) Research state of the art bearings-only guidance and navigation techniques for rendezvous, including those for highly elliptical orbits. 2) Design the required bearings-only guidance and navigation functions based on a trade-off of the current state of the art. 3) Implement the bearings-only guidance and navigation functions in a representative simulation environment for the sample mission. 4) Model-in-the-loop testing campaign of the algorithms. 5) Hardware-in-the-loop implementation of the proposed algorithms 6) HIL Testing, including sensor hardware in the loop.

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