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One of the most challenging and risky missions for spacecraft is to perform Rendezvous and Docking (RvD) autonomously in space. To ensure a safe and reliable operation, such a mission must be carefully designed and thoroughly verified before a real space mission can be launched. This paper describes a new, robotics-based, hardware-in-the-loop RvD simulation(More)
This paper proposes an image processing method for far range rendezvous. A target spacecraft at distances up to 30 km is tracked from camera images. The method is based on linking bright, connected sets of pixels over sequences of images. Stars and the target spacecraft are identified by using a star catalog and performing motion segmentation. The algorithm(More)
A hybrid docking simulator is a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulator that includes a hardware element within a numerical simulation loop. One of the goals of performing a HIL simulation at the European Proximity Operation Simulator (EPOS) is the verification and validation of the docking phase in an on-orbit servicing mission. A key feature of the HIL(More)
On-orbit servicing missions induce challenges for the rendezvous and docking system since a typical target satellite is not specially prepared for such a mission, can be partly damaged or even freely tumbling with lost attitude control. In contrast to manned spaceflight or formation flying missions, new sensors and algorithms have to be designed for(More)
The European Proximity Operation Simulator (EPOS) of the DLR-German Aerospace Center is a robotics-based simulator that aims at validating and verifying a satellite docking phase. The generic concept features a robotics tracking system working in closed loop with a force/torque feedback signal. Inherent delays in the tracking system combined with typical(More)
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