Linear Covariance Navigation Analysis of Range and Image Measurement Processing for Autonomous Lunar Lander Missions

Randall Christensen, David Geller, Michael Hansen

Abstract: Growing interest in autonomous landing on the lunar surface has motivated in-depth studies of the navigation architectures to support such missions. The research presented in this paper extends linear covariance models of terrain-relative navigation architectures to incorporate both image-based measurements to known landmarks and laser range measurements to the lunar surface. The benefit of the range measurements is shown to be significant in reducing relative position and velocity errors in the altitude channel, as compared to an image-only navigation architecture. The range measurements are also shown to reduce the sensitivity of final relative navigation errors to the turn-on time of both image and range measurements, resulting in a more robust system design.
Published in: 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS)
April 20 - 23, 2020
Hilton Portland Downtown
Portland, Oregon
Pages: 1524 - 1535
Cite this article: Christensen, Randall, Geller, David, Hansen, Michael, "Linear Covariance Navigation Analysis of Range and Image Measurement Processing for Autonomous Lunar Lander Missions," 2020 IEEE/ION Position, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS), Portland, Oregon, April 2020, pp. 1524-1535.
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