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Monocular-Based Pose Determination of Uncooperative Space Objects

Capuano, Vincenzo and Kim, Kyunam and Harvard, Alexei and Chung, Soon-Jo (2020) Monocular-Based Pose Determination of Uncooperative Space Objects. Acta Astronautica, 166 . pp. 493-506. ISSN 0094-5765.

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Vision-based methods to determine the relative pose of an uncooperative orbiting object are investigated in applications to spacecraft proximity operations, such as on-orbit servicing, spacecraft formation flying, and small bodies exploration. Depending on whether the object is known or unknown, a shape model of the orbiting target object may have to be constructed autonomously in real-time by making use of only optical measurements. The Simultaneous Estimation of Pose and Shape (SEPS) algorithm that does not require a priori knowledge of the pose and shape of the target is presented. This makes use of a novel measurement equation and filter that can efficiently use optical flow information along with a star tracker to estimate the target's angular rotational and translational relative velocity as well as its center of gravity. Depending on the mission constraints, SEPS can be augmented by a more accurate offline, on-board 3D reconstruction of the target shape, which allows for the estimation of the pose as a known target. The use of Structure from Motion (SfM) for this purpose is discussed. A model-based approach for pose estimation of known targets is also presented. The architecture and implementation of both the proposed approaches are elucidated and their performance metrics are evaluated through numerical simulations by using a dataset of images that are synthetically generated according to a chaser/target relative motion in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Capuano, Vincenzo0000-0002-6886-5719
Kim, Kyunam0000-0002-7803-1582
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Additional Information:© 2019 IAA. Published by Elsevier. Received 14 January 2019, Revised 29 July 2019, Accepted 22 September 2019, Available online 1 October 2019. The first author was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). This work was also supported in part by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Government sponsorship is acknowledged. The authors thank F. Y. Hadaegh, A. Rahmani, and S. R. Alimo.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Vision-based Navigation; Spacecraft; Pose Determination; 3D Reconstruction
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191001-104800482
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Official Citation:Vincenzo Capuano, Kyunam Kim, Alexei Harvard, Soon-Jo Chung, Monocular-based pose determination of uncooperative space objects, Acta Astronautica, Volume 166, 2020, Pages 493-506, ISSN 0094-5765, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98984
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Oct 2019 23:10
Last Modified:15 Nov 2019 17:39

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