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A Survey of LIDAR Technology and Its Use in Spacecraft Relative NavigationThis paper provides a survey of modern LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) sensors from a perspective of how they can be used for spacecraft relative navigation. In addition to LIDAR technology commonly used in space applications today (e.g. scanning, flash), this paper reviews emerging LIDAR technologies gaining traction in other non-aerospace fields. The discussion will include an overview of sensor operating principles and specific pros/cons for each type of LIDAR. This paper provides a comprehensive review of LIDAR technology as applied specifically to spacecraft relative navigation. HE problem of orbital rendezvous and docking has been a consistent challenge for complex space missions since before the Gemini 8 spacecraft performed the first successful on-orbit docking of two spacecraft in 1966. Over the years, a great deal of effort has been devoted to advancing technology associated with all aspects of the rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking (RPOD) flight phase. After years of perfecting the art of crewed rendezvous with the Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs, NASA began investigating the problem of autonomous rendezvous and docking (AR&D) to support a host of different mission applications. Some of these applications include autonomous resupply of the International Space Station (ISS), robotic servicing/refueling of existing orbital assets, and on-orbit assembly.1 The push towards a robust AR&D capability has led to an intensified interest in a number of different sensors capable of providing insight into the relative state of two spacecraft. The present work focuses on exploring the state-of-the-art in one of these sensors - LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) sensors. It should be noted that the military community frequently uses the acronym LADAR (LAser Detection And Ranging) to refer to what this paper calls LIDARs. A LIDAR is an active remote sensing device that is typically used in space applications to obtain the range to one or more points on a target spacecraft. As the name suggests, LIDAR sensors use light (typically a laser) to illuminate the target and measure the time it takes for the emitted signal to return to the sensor. Because the light must travel from the source, to
Document ID
20140000616
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Christian, John A.
(West Virginia Univ. Morgantown, WV, United States)
Cryan, Scott P.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
February 7, 2014
Publication Date
August 19, 2013
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
JSC-CN-29077
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference
Location: Boston, MA
Country: United States
Start Date: August 19, 2013
End Date: August 22, 2013
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.
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