Advanced Geomotries for Vision-Based Satellite Docking

Period of Performance: 11/01/1999 - 07/29/2000


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Daniel H. Wagner, Assoc., Inc.
559 West Uwchlan Avenue Array
Exton, PA 19341
Principal Investigator


One of these technical challenges that needs to be overcome for an unmanned servicing vehicle to be practical is to provide for robotic docking of the service shuttle to the satellite. In order to achieve docking, new technology is needed to measure precisely the relative positions of two bodies in space, where the availability of cooperative mechanisms may be limited. In this proposed research, we will develop advanced approaches for the first of these problems, position measurement, using the most flexible of all sensors, machine vision. With today's and tomorrow's fast, cheap computers, we can equip those small video cameras with extremely advanced processing, including the most advanced mathematical techniques for solving the difficult problem of passive tracking in six degrees of freedom.