ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository

Mission and GNC System Design of the Juventas Cubesat on Board the HERA Mission
Victor Manuel Moreno Villa, C. Sanchez Lara, A. Palomino Aguado, R.A. Cioaca, G. Bay, I.D. Oprea, F.A. Stancu, C.C. Chitu, I.E. Cristea, I. Almeida, C. Plevier, S. Van wal, M. Scoubeau, F. Perez Lissi
Presented at:
Virtual Conference 2021
Full paper:

Juventas is a deep space 6U XL CubeSat with the objective of performing a scientific and technological demonstration mission, aiming for the characterization of the binary asteroid Didymos, and its small companion Dimorphos. To safely navigate in such a harsh and unpredictable environment at close distances, Juventas will perform autonomous operations using its GNC system. The high latency of the information causes greater uncertainties in the predicted CubeSat state. Hence, to prevent the asteroid from abandoning the camera?s field of view, on-board attitude corrections must be commanded by the GNC system to achieve continuous imaging of the asteroid. As an extended part of the mission, Juventas will attempt to land on the surface of Dimorphos. The landing process comprises a controlled touchdown using the autonomous GNC system and a series of uncontrolled bounces until Juventas rests on the asteroid surface. The highly perturbed dynamics together with the small size of the target makes the landing the most challenging operation that Juventas will face. This imposes challenging constraints on the mission design, highlighting the impact and necessity of an autonomous GNC system as detailed in the paper.