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Using infrared based relative navigation for active debris removal

Yilmaz, O., Aouf, N. ORCID: 0000-0001-9291-4077, Majewski, L. , Sanchez-Gestido, M. & Ortega, G. (2017). Using infrared based relative navigation for active debris removal. Paper presented at the 10th International ESA Conference on Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems, 29 May - 02 Jun 2017, Salzburg, Austria.


A debris-free space environment is becoming a necessity for current and future missions and activities planned in the coming years. The only means of sustaining the orbital environment at a safe level for strategic orbits (in particular Sun Synchronous Orbits, SSO) in the long term is by carrying out Active Debris Removal (ADR) at the rate of a few removals per year. Infrared (IR) technology has been used for a long time in Earth Observations but its use for navigation and guidance has not been subject of research and technology development so far in Europe. The ATV-5 LIRIS experiment in 2014 carrying a Commercial-of-The-Shelf (COTS) infrared sensor was a first step in de-risking the use of IR technology for objects detection in space. In this context, Cranfield University, SODERN and ESA are collaborating on a research to investigate the potential of IR-based relative navigation for debris removal systems. This paper reports the findings and developments in this field till date and the contributions from the three partners in this research.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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