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Innovative Guidance, Navigation, and Control Subsystems for Multi-Satellite Systems

                          TAFF Software Architecture (credits: Ardaens, D'Amico)

This research addresses the development of novel Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) subsystems for multi-satellite systems, including their integration into the space- and ground-segment of actual space missions.
Examples of innovative GNC subsystems developed or under development are the TanDEM-X Autonomous Formation Flying (TAFF) experiment, the PRISMA’s Spaceborne Autonomous Formation Flying Experiment (SAFE), the PRISMA’s Advanced Rendezvous demo using GPS and Optical Navigation (ARGON), and the FIREBIRD’s Autonomous Vision Approach Navigation and Target Identification (AVANTI) experiment.
These in-orbit technological demonstrations represent exceptional contributions to the state-of-the-art and are paving the way for even more advanced implementations. The innovation stems from the integration of various techniques, from formation-flying to rendezvous guidance, from GNSS- to optical-based navigation, from autonomous to ground-based impulsive control.
Current work is focused on improving and upgrading the aforementioned subsystems to fulfil the more and more demanding requirements of future distributed space systems, especially in terms of autonomy, flexibility, robustness, and distribution among multiple vehicles. The mission of SLAB is to transfer and embed these technologies into a formation of at least three nanosatellites before 2020.
Recent Publications (2013-2014)
Wermuth M., D’Amico S., Gaias G.;
Safe Release of a Picosatellite from a Small Satellite Carrier in Low Earth Orbit;
24th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 26-30 Jan. 2014, Santa Fe, USA (2014).

Gaias G., D’Amico S.;
Impulsive Maneuvers for Formation Reconfiguration using Relative Orbital Elements;
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics (2014).
D’Amico S., Ardaens J.-S., Gaias G., Benninghoff H., Schlepp B., Jørgensen J.L.;
Noncooperative Rendezvous using Angles-only Optical Navigation: System Design and Flight Results;
AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 36(6) 1576-1595, doi: 10.2514/1.59236 (2013)