A Vision-Based DSP Embedded Navigation Sensor Academic Article uri icon


  • Spacecraft missions such as spacecraft docking and formation flying require high-precision relative position and attitude data. Although a global positioning system can provide this capability near the earth, deep space missions require the use of alternative technologies. One such technology is the vision-based navigation (VISNAV) sensor system developed at Texas A&M University. VISNAV comprises an electro-optical sensor combined with light sources or beacons. This patented sensor has an analog detector in the focal plane with a rise time of a few microseconds. Accuracies better than one part in 2000 of the field of view have been obtained. This paper presents a new approach involving simultaneous activation of beacons with frequency division multiplexing as part of the VISNAV sensor system. In addition, it discusses the synchronous demodulation process using digital heterodyning and decimating filter banks on a low-power fixed point digital signal processor, which improves the accuracy of the sensor measurements and the reliability of the system. This paper also presents an optimal and computationally efficient six-degree-of-freedom estimation algorithm using a new measurement model based on the attitude representation of modified Rodrigues parameters. 2002 IEEE.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Gunnam, K. K., Hughes, D. C., Junkins, J. L., & Kehtarnavaz, N.

citation count

  • 54

publication date

  • October 2002