ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Image Processing chip for Relative Navigation for Lunar Landing
The Lunar Lander Phase B1 study aims to complete the mission design for the landing of an automated vehicle near the south pole of the Moon. The study will provide an initial design for the landing module; the essential technologies for an automatic, soft and precise landing such as absolute and relative navigation with hazard detection and avoidance; and the testing of hardware components and navigation sensors using equipment which is capable of recreating a realistic lunar environment. The GNC function during the critical Descent and Landing phase of the mission places high demand on the visual image processing power of the avionics subsystem and the applicable image processing algorithms must be validated on a representative hardware platform to reach the required TRL. In this paper we present work to port the NPAL FEIC feature extraction and tracking image processing chip design to a COTS FPGA board to form the relative navigation hardware component of the Avionics D&L GNC Subsystem Demonstrator of Airbus Defence and Space, Bremen.