3 May 2007 Simulation tests of a lidar-based spacecraft pose determination algorithm
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The autonomous close-in maneuvering necessary for the rendezvous and docking of two spacecraft requires a relative navigation sensor system that can determine the relative position and orientation (pose) of the controlled spacecraft with respect to the target spacecraft. Lidar imaging systems offer the potential for accurately measuring the relative six degree-of-freedom positions and orientations and the associated rates. In this paper, we present simulation results generated using a high fidelity modeling program. A simulated lidar system is used to capture close-proximity range images of a model target spacecraft, producing 3-D point cloud data. The sequentially gathered point-clouds are compared with the previous point-cloud using a real-time point-plane correspondence-less variant of the Iterative Closest Points (ICP) algorithm. The resulting range and pose estimates are used in turn to prime the next time-step iteration of the ICP algorithm. Results from detailed point-plane simulations and will be presented. The implications for real-time implementation are discussed.
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Ronald C. Fenton, Ronald C. Fenton, R. Rees Fullmer, R. Rees Fullmer, Robert T. Pack, Robert T. Pack, } "Simulation tests of a lidar-based spacecraft pose determination algorithm", Proc. SPIE 6555, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications, 65550G (3 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720114; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.720114

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