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GNC Systems Development in Conjunction with a RvD Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulator

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  • Gsoc-Deutsches Raumfahrtkontrollzentrum


In the last years several satellite projects started providing on-orbit servicing capabilities. This means that an on-orbit servicing spacecraft approaches to a client satellite, captures it, takes over the attitude and orbit control and possibly performs additional maintenance tasks. One of the critical phases of such a mission is to ensure a safe and reliable rendezvous and docking (RvD) process. Especially this phase has to be analyzed, simulated and verified in detail. For the special case of verification of rendezvous and docking sensors and systems, DLR has built a new hardware-in-the-loop simulator capable of testing and verifying rendezvous and docking subsystems. This simulator is known as the European Proximity Operations Simulator (EPOS). It is part of the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) located near Weßling. After completion of the baseline simulator concept in 2009, the facility is going to be used for the first time for an internal research project concentrating on a CCD-based rendezvous and docking sensor. This leads to results of both the research project and information about the facility in operation. The paper presents first results and provides insight into ongoing work and projects as well as an outlook of future things to come.

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