PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IN INTERSTELLAR NAVIGATION TECHNIQUES Conference Paper uri icon

abstract

  • The classic methods of position estimation become invalid once a spacecraft leaves the local vicinity of our solar system. Parallax starts to have a noticeable effect on star identification as near as 100 AU from Earth. In order to compensate for the changing appearance of the stars multiple approaches are possible. In this paper we develop a new method of interstellar navigation based on identifying observed stars and measuring stellar parallax. A running on-board range estimate must be used to update the visible star catalog to perform star ID. Additionally, once stars are identified each of these stars can then act as a beacon for position estimation. This problem, known as the perspective-n-point (PnP) Problem has been well studied in the field of computer science and robotics. This paper also investigates the use of pulsars for interstellar navigation has been studied extensively and offers a baseline for comparing other position estimation methods. Final recommendations are made on future work based on the most promising methods.

author list (cited authors)

  • Borissov, S., & Mortari, D.

publication date

  • January 2016