A SIMPLE OPTICAL RANGING TECHNIQUE FOR ORBITAL RENDEZVOUS

R. Pitak and R. Henry

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: NEW SPACECRAFT navigation systems requiregreater accuracy and sensitivity, which are being achieved with increased complexity and weight. These systems also require backup emergency systems that insure overall reliability. Many of these backup systems incur exorbitant additional penalties when evaluated against their probable contribut,ion. Choosing a portion of the problem of space rendezvous, that of ranging to the target vehicle, a method is defined that improves probability of mission success while accepting minimum penalties. This method is designed as a backup. Simplicity and minimum weight are obtained at the expense of accuracy and precision. Manual rendezvous tehcniques have been studied since 1962. Remote orbital rendezvous was adopted as the primary lunar mission plan in July 1962 because of the low overall weight and high reliability of this method. [l] Human abilities to control rendezvous were throughly investigated. [2,3] These studies led to the recommendation that the human role not be subordinated to the role of automatic equipment. A manual technique for the terminal phase of lunar rendezvous was developed and simulat,ed with an analog computer. [4] B manual backup technique for rendezvous has also been developed. [5] However, this technique departs somewhat from the method of the primary navigation system, and may not be a useful method for manual checking of the automatic equipment that constitutes the primary system. The technique of this paper was developed with the intent of providing the ranging capability of manually checking automatic equipment
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 13, Number 4
Pages: 386 - 390
Cite this article: Pitak, R., Henry, R., "A SIMPLE OPTICAL RANGING TECHNIQUE FOR ORBITAL RENDEZVOUS", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter 1966-1967, pp. 386-390.
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