Compact & High Performance Equipment for Vision-Based Navigation

CMOS Mono-Cam
CCD Mono-Cam

Vision-based navigation is a major enabling technology in support of the autonomy requirements of Space Applications like: Exploration missions (orbiters. landers, rovers, etc.). On-Orbit Servicing Applications (Satellite Inspections, Rendezvous. Docking etc.) and Formation-Flying Missions.

Vision-based navigation systems for future missions shall offer faster image processing, compatible with the computational loads of sophisticated navigation algorithms, and simultaneously fulfill the constraints in terms of mass, volume, and power consumption of missions increasingly based on small platforms.

A novel system (developed in the frame of ASI MOSS program) represents the TSD answer to all those demanding requirements.

MOSS is a powerful, compact, light, and low power system that can be used in different configurations by combining the following parts:

  • Multi-ocular Camera (Multi-Cam) provided with three image sensors and fixed lens
  • CMOS Monocular Camera (CMOS Mono-Cam) provided with one image sensor and fixed lens
  • CCD Monocular Camera (CCD Mono-Cam) integrated with motorized lens
  • High-performance Processing Unit for Visual Navigation (HPVN)

The different configurations of the cameras are aimed at fulfilling a wide range of imaging and accommodation requirements, depending on the specific mission and the space platform.

Three cameras can operate in stand-alone mode or connected to a very powerful and fault tolerant processing unit (HPVN), capable of supporting up to 4 HD video inputs, and performing a number of hardware accelerated image processing algorithms: loss-less and/or lossy compression, feature detection and tracking and real-time disparity map calculation.

The cameras are internally provided with a lossy image compressor, based on a Wavelet compression algorithm, and. in stand-alone configuration, they can output compressed video by means of an embedded SpaceWire l/F. The cameras have been defined by considering different operational scenarios and applications.