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Raven: An On-Orbit Relative Navigation Demonstration Using International Space Station Visiting VehiclesSince the last Hubble Servicing Mission five years ago, the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has been focusing on maturing the technologies necessary to robotically service orbiting legacy assets-spacecraft not necessarily designed for in-flight service. Raven, SSCO's next orbital experiment to the International Space Station (ISS), is a real-time autonomous non-cooperative relative navigation system that will mature the estimation algorithms required for rendezvous and proximity operations for a satellite-servicing mission. Raven will fly as a hosted payload as part of the Space Test Program's STP-H5 mission, which will be mounted on an external ExPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC) and will image the many visiting vehicles arriving and departing from the ISS as targets for observation. Raven will host multiple sensors: a visible camera with a variable field of view lens, a long-wave infrared camera, and a short-wave flash lidar. This sensor suite can be pointed via a two-axis gimbal to provide a wide field of regard to track the visiting vehicles as they make their approach. Various real-time vision processing algorithms will produce range, bearing, and six degree of freedom pose measurements that will be processed in a relative navigation filter to produce an optimal relative state estimate. In this overview paper, we will cover top-level requirements, experimental concept of operations, system design, and the status of Raven integration and test activities.

Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Strube, Matthew
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Henry, Ross
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Skeleton, Eugene
(Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Eepoel, John Van
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Gill, Nat
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
McKenna, Reed
Date Acquired
March 10, 2015
Publication Date
January 29, 2015
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: AAS GN&C Conference
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Country: United States
Start Date: January 30, 2015
End Date: February 4, 2015
Sponsors: American Astronautical Society
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 2015-596-SSCO
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Proximity Operations
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