High-Fidelity Simulation of Horizon-Based Optical Navigation with Open-Source Software

    •  Shimane, Y., Miraldo, P., Berntorp, K., Greiff, M., Elango, P., Weiss, A., "High-Fidelity Simulation of Horizon-Based Optical Navigation with Open-Source Software", International Astronautical Congress (IAC), October 2023.
      BibTeX TR2023-128 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Shimane2023oct,
      • author = {Shimane, Yuri and Miraldo, Pedro and Berntorp, Karl and Greiff, Marcus and Elango, Purnanand and Weiss, Avishai},
      • title = {High-Fidelity Simulation of Horizon-Based Optical Navigation with Open-Source Software},
      • booktitle = {International Astronautical Congress (IAC)},
      • year = 2023,
      • month = oct,
      • url = {}
      • }
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  • Research Areas:

    Control, Dynamical Systems, Optimization


In this work, a high-fidelity simulation environment for autonomous cislunar spacecraft navigation based on horizon-based optical navigation (OpNav) is developed. Spacecraft autonomy is becoming a critical need, both from a mission safety standpoint in case of communication failure with Earth, as well as a scalability standpoint as the number of deployed spacecraft increases dramatically in the coming years. Autonomy is of particular importance in deep space, where communication (and thus, navigation) relies on NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN), which will need to be rationed, or where links to DSN can fail (see, for example, the recent CAPSTONE mission). As spacecraft activity builds on the near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) that the Lunar Gateway will fly, autonomous navigation and station-keeping control methods that do not rely on DSN are required. This work details how a high-fidelity rendering-based simulation environment for horizon-based OpNav may be realized. While the environment is useful for any spacecraft transiting in the vicinity of the Moon, special considerations arising from conducting OpNav on an NRHO are highlighted. The proposed environment is tested by processing rendered images of the Moon along an NRHO using a state-of-the-art horizon-based OpNav technique, and insights on the accuracy of the obtainable position measurements are provided