ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Vision-based Hazard Detection and Avoidance: HASE study for ESA
In 1976, Viking 1 landed on Mars, near a 1 meter-high rock Big Joe that could have killed the Viking mission if the spacecraft had landed on the rock. Since then, hazards avoidance during landing missions have always been a top concern for International Agencies. In the mid-1990s specific interest in lunar landing missions at the European Space Agency led to a number of landing technology activities. In particular, the study on Integrated Vision and Planetary Exploration was instrumental in establishing the proof-of-concept of a vision-based hazard detection and avoidance (HDA) solution. Within the Aurora Core programme, the Agency has initiated the Hazard Avoidance System Experiment (HASE) study in 2008 in order to investigate further the vision-based solution for detecting and avoiding autonomously critical rocks and slopes on lunar and Martian ground. The industrial team made up of Astrium, Deimos and FFCUL has designed and simulated a candidate vision-based HDA solution; robustness and functional performances have been evaluated through deterministic and stochastic tests. Real-time performances were also investigated. This paper presents the work, achievements and lessons-learnt obtained during the HASE phase 1 study with special emphasis on lunar Polar Regions landing applications.