ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository

RVS®3000 LIDAR Product Family from Rendezvous and Docking Applications to Hazard Mapping for Planetary Landing
Thomas Kämpfe, Christoph Schmitt, Michael Windmüller, Michael Schwarz, Max Möller
Presented at:
Sopot 2023
Full paper:

The RVS®3000 LIDAR product family is regularly used for retro tracking during flights to the international space station since 2019. A version for operation without retro reflectors used powerful algorithms and hardware for autonomous 6-Degree-of-Freedom (6DOF) pose estimation to enable satellite-servicing during Northrop Grumman’s (NG) Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) program. For the Artemis Missions, the RVS®3000 LIDAR product family shall serve as primary relative navigation sensor on the ORION vehicle. The combination of high-resolution scanning LIDAR with robust image processing algorithms shall enable rendezvous and docking with e.g. Gateway. Here we present the generic LIDAR system design as it was developed by Jena-Optronik GmbH for a variety of missions. This design will be introduced by the example of a rendezvous vehicles. Here we start from tracking of available retro reflectors from several kilometres down to autonomous 6-Degree-of-Freedom (6DOF) pose estimation with the docking port at close range. The algorithms exploit the full capability of the hardware by making use of “the best from the two worlds” of retro reflector tracking and model-based 6DOF pose estimation. This presentation will summarize simulation and test results.