The ULTOR® Passive Pose and Position Engine (P3E) technology, developed by Advanced Optical Systems, Inc
(AOS), uses real-time image correlation to provide relative position and pose data for spacecraft guidance, navigation,
and control. Potential data sources include a wide variety of sensors, including visible and infrared cameras. ULTOR®
P3E has been demonstrated on a number of host processing platforms.
NASA is integrating ULTOR® P3E into its Relative Navigation System (RNS), which is being developed for the
upcoming Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Servicing Mission 4 (SM4). During SM4 ULTOR® P3E will perform realtime
pose and position measurements during both the approach and departure phases of the mission. This paper
describes the RNS implementation of ULTOR® P3E, and presents results from NASA's hardware-in-the-loop
simulation testing against the HST mockup.
NASA's initiative for space exploration will require the development of robotic servicing and unmanned resupply of permanent space borne facilities. An enabling technology to accomplish these goals is by sensor systems capable of Rendezvous, Proximity Operations and Docking (RPOD) missions.
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) conducted an experiment whose objective intent was to characterize sensor systems for potential use in RPOD scenarios. The MSFC experiment integrated candidate sensors with the Small Air Sled (SAS) on the air bearing floor of the MSFC Flight Robotics Lab.
Advanced Optical Systems Inc. (AOS) has developed several different sensor technologies for Automated Rendezvous and Docking (AR&D). For the MSFC experiment, we applied AOS ULTOR advanced correlation technology as an AR&D sensor. The ULTOR system applied Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) algorithms to provide six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) information for target position and attitude. In addition, ULTOR provided a data-link interface to the SAS for closed loop guidance and navigation commands.
Navigational data from the ULTOR system was collected during the experiment and compared to a MSFC truth sensor for position and attitude estimation accuracy. This data will be presented as well as videos recording the progression of the SAS under ULTOR control to the target.