A Proposal of Optical Navigation for Deep Space Mission ASTER to Explore NEA 2001-SN263


  • Antonio Gil Vicente de Brum
  • Carolina Schuindt


Autonomous Space Navigation, Optical navigation, Deep Space mission ASTER, Asteroid 2001-SN263


In addition to radio navigation, optical navigation has been used successfully in deep-space missions since the launch of the Voyager spacecraft, in the 1970s. In the 1990s, the NASA’s Deep Space-1 mission successfully tested an autonomous optical navigation system which allowed great reduction in mission costs, and maximized scientific results. The ASTER mission, the first Brazilian deep space mission, shall count on the support of optical navigation for all its phases. The platform of the probe is the Russian Pilgrim spacecraft developed by the Russian Space Research Institute for the Finnish-Russian mission to Mars (MetNet). As such, besides the scientific camera on board (which may also be used for navigation purposes), the probe will also dispose of a navigation camera (NAVCAM). This study is related to the formulation of a general proposal of optical navigation, that can be used in the ASTER mission, which takes into account the equipment available on board, especially the NAVCAM, along with tracking software suitable for the conduction of optical navigation. The description of an appropriate navigation algorithm together with its successful application to simulated and real images (from NASA’s New Horizons mission) is carried out.






Original Papers