1 September 2004 RELAVIS: the development of a 4D laser vision system for spacecraft rendezvous and docking operations
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Abstract
Many on-orbit rendezvous missions would benefit from the ability to locate and track a spacecraft at a distance, compute its pose and attitude with high accuracy during close-in maneuvers, and to provide a visual record of the final mission event. The Rendezvous Laser Vision System (RELAVIS), designed by Optech and MD Robotics, meets such needs. Installed on a seeker vehicle, RELAVIS provides an integrated laser-based vision system that obtains relative position and orientation of a target vehicle. RELAVIS supports targetless operation, does not require any external illumination sources and operates irrespective of location of a solar disk. The primary use of RELAVIS is to support autonomous satellite rendezvous and docking operations. RELAVIS can also be used for 3D workspace mapping and calibration, target vehicle inspection and reconnaissance in space environments. RELAVIS has the unique capability of producing highly accurate data over a range of 0.5 metres to 3 kilometres and providing 6 degrees-of-freedom (pose) bearing and range data of a target spacecraft, which may be processed by an autonomous Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) system for orbital rendezvous and docking operations. RELAVIS can also be equipped with a space-qualified camera unit to view on-orbit events.
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Eric Martin, Daven Maharaj, Robert Richards, Jeffrey W. Tripp, James Bolger, Dan King, "RELAVIS: the development of a 4D laser vision system for spacecraft rendezvous and docking operations", Proc. SPIE 5418, Spaceborne Sensors, (1 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.555420; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.555420
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