ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Hardware-in-the-loop Rendezvous Simulation using a Vision Based Sensor
One of the critical issues of a satellite On-Orbit Servicing (OOS) mission is to ensure a safe and reliable Rendezvous and Docking (RvD) process. This most risky part of the mission must be carefully analyzed, simulated and verified before the mission can be launched. This paper focuses on the utilization of the new RvD simulation facility called EPOS 2.0 (European Proximity Operations Simulator) to establish a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation of a close-range rendezvous process. As navigation sensor a monocular camera is used to measure the relative position and orientation of a mock-up of a Geo-stationary target satellite. A new developed image processing algorithm tracks the outer edges of the satellite body under different illumination conditions. The complex software functionality for relative guidance, navigation and control (GNC) and for the satellite dynamics is developed under Matlab/Simulink environment and auto-coded with Real Time Workshop.