CANCELLED - SystemX Alliance presents "Autonomous Navigation of Miniature Distributed Space Systems"
Two key trends are revolutionizing the way humans conduct spaceflight, namely, the miniaturization of satellites (e.g., micro- and nano-satellites) and the distribution of payload tasks among multiple coordinated units (e.g., formation-flying, on-orbit servicing, fractionation, swarms). The combination of these approaches promises breakthroughs in space science (e.g., imaging of earth-like planets, characterization of gravitational waves), remote sensing (e.g., synthetic aperture radar interferometry, aeronomy, gravimetry), and space exploration (e.g., lifetime extension, assembly of structures, space debris removal). Irrespective of the specific application, future miniature distributed space missions require a high level of autonomy to maintain and reconfigure the relative motion of the participating vehicles within the prescribed accuracy and range of operations. Especially on small spacecraft, these requirements are hard to meet due to the limited resources, and the chief goal of current research and development is to pave the way for the autonomous Guidance, Navigation, & Control (GN&C) of "self-driving nanosatellites."
Leveraging the presenter's experience and contributions to recent satellite formation-flying and rendezvous missions in low earth orbit (TanDEM-X, Prisma, Biros), this presentation addresses the navigation algorithms under developments to enable a new class of miniature distributed space instruments (Starling, Visors, Swarm-Ex). The focus will be on autonomous vision-based and radio-frequency spaceborne absolute and relative navigation systems, including their training and validation using high-fidelity hardware-in-the-loop simulations and robotic testbeds at the Stanford's Space Rendezvous Laboratory.