ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Autonomous Moon Landing Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems Development and Validation
Unmanned missions to the Moon with an emphasis on autonomy and low-cost have become priorities for both public and private space ventures. This paper presents an integrated navigation and hazard detection system that enables safe precision lunar landing, which is key to the success of such missions. The navigation subsystem relies on crater detection for absolute position determination, and the tracking of features between images for a precise velocity determination. Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) is performed by processing camera and Lidar measurements combined with the navigation subsystem outputs. Rigorous but low-cost validation is a critical to the development of such a precision landing system. Software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop validation frameworks are presented for navigation and HDA systems, as well as a novel drone-flight validation set up for ground hazard detection.