Autonomous Lunar L1 Halo Orbit Navigation Using Optical Measurements to a Lunar Landmark

Mark B. Hinga and Dale A. Williams

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Autonomous cislunar spacecraft navigation is critical to mission success as communication to ground stations and access to global positioning system (GPS) signals could be lost. However, if the satellite has a camera of sufficient quality, geometric line-of-sight (unit vector) measurements can be made to known lunar landmarks (e.g., Tycho Crater) to provide observations that enable autonomous estimation of the position and velocity of the spacecraft. In this study, an improved batch gaussian initial orbit determination (IOD) differential corrector (DC) algorithm, based on the approximated values of the two-body f and g series, is applied to initialize a (non-conic based) circular restricted three body problem (CR3BP) extended Kalman Filter (EKF) navigator. This navigator collects geometric line-of-sight unit vector (angle only) measurements to a known location on the Moon to sequentially estimate the position and velocity of an observer spacecraft flying on an approximate southern L1 Halo orbit. In this study, it was found that the best approach is to initialize the CR3BP EKF (navigator) using the solution from the batch DC filter with at least 10 measurements taken against the perceived centroid of Tycho Crater. Thereafter, it is best to continue the navigator with subsequent measurements taken against the same center coordinates of the Tycho Crater, where these coordinates are now expressed in the CR3BP rotating frame. For successful conic-based batch filter initialization and long-term CR3BP EKF convergence, it was found that the cadence for all optical measurements should be taken at 10 minutes for a simulated measurement noise of 0.1° one sigma uncertainty about the line-of-sight measurement unit vector.
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Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 70, Number 3
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