ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Passive versus Active Hazard Detection & Avoidance Systems
Upcoming planetary exploration missions will require advanced guidance, navigation and control technologies to reach landing sites with high precision and safety. Various technologies are currently in development to meet that goal. Some technologies rely on passive sensors and benefit from the low mass and power of such solutions while others rely on active sensors and benefit from an improved robustness and accuracy. This paper presents two different Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) system design approaches. The first architecture relies only on a camera as the passive HDA sensor while the second relies, in addition, on a Lidar as the active HDA sensor. Both options use in common an innovative hazard map fusion algorithm aiming at identifying the safest landing locations. This paper presents the simulation tools and reports the closed-loop software simulation results obtained using each design option. The paper also reports the Monte Carlo simulation campaign that was used to assess the robustness of each design option. The performance of each design option is compared against each other in terms of performance criteria such as percentage of success, mean distance to nearest hazard, etc. The applicability of each design option to planetary exploration missions is also discussed.