ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Pointing budgeting using the ESA Pointing Error Engineering Handbook and Tool: benefits and limitations
In 2011 ESA published the ESA Pointing Error Engineering (EPEE) Handbook as applicable document. Based on it ESA recently developed a software prototype of the Pointing Error Engineering Tool PEET to support the user in applying the process and techniques in the EPEE Handbook and in the respective ECSS standards. This article provides an industry perspective of using the EPEE Handbook and PEET software for pointing error engineering and thus the compilation of pointing budgets. An earth observation LEO satellite similar to a satellite in the MetOp-SG mission serves as general benchmark to assess the applicability and analyse the resulting budgets of the following three approaches: (1) ECSS standard with classical summation rules, (2) EPEE Handbook with ECSS standards, (3) PEET software and thus implicitly the EPEE Handbook with ECSS standards. An operational scenario of MetOp-SG is analysed with the simplified statistical method, which is based on the specific summation of random variables. In addition, the attitude control system of a precision pointing satellite in a fine pointing science observation scenario serves as another benchmark to make use of the advanced frequency-domain methods in the EPEE Handbook and PEET. These methods are based on the summation of random processes and their system transfer. The benchmark scenarios in this article eventually serve as input to assess the different approaches and discuss the benefits and limitations in applying the EPEE Handbook and PEET with respect to the needs in pointing error engineering. To this end a comprehensive summary of needs is derived based on the challenges and experiences of Airbus Defence and Space in recent and current ESA missions. The paper concludes by suggesting future research and development directions.