ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Advanced Navigation Techniques for Pinpoint Landing
Precise landing on small areas with scientific interest or with pre-existing assets is foreseen as one of the enabling technologies for future planetary exploration. This work presents an integrated solution for the trajectory design, navigation filters, sensors and actuators that demonstrably enables pinpoint landing on the Moon and Mars. The proposed solution is the outcome of the ESA activity "Advanced Navigation Techniques for Pinpoint Landing - ANPLE", which was led by Spin.Works with the support from DLR. A set of analyses indicate how various navigation solutions could enable - or not - pinpoint landing at the Lunar south pole and on Mars. Different data filter algorithms are reviewed, and image processing algorithms are surveyed as means to acquire surface relative and absolute navigation information, innovative sensor technologies and processing units are discussed. A trade-off between different navigation solutions is performed, based on extensive covariance analysis of potential sensor + navigation filter + image processing combinations. According to the European Space Agency roadmap, three navigation solutions are drawn and simulated: near-term missions to the lunar south pole; mid-term missions to Mars with a parachute-based descent phase; and long-term missions to revisit the Moon and Mars (retropropulsive only).