By Sumant Sharma October 24, 2016
The Autonomous Vision Approach Navigation and Target Identification (AVANTI) experiment, aimed at demonstrating autonomous rendezvous and receding maneuvers of a servicer satellite with respect to a passive uncooperative spacecraft, is all set to begin! AVANTI is a scientific experiment hosted by the DLR Bi-spectral InfraRed Optical System (BIROS) satellite, which was launched in June this year. BIROS will perform proximity operations with respect to the BEESAT-4 picosatellite of the Technical University (TU) Berlin University. Prof. Simone D'Amico acted as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the AVANTI experiment before he moved to Stanford University.
The AVANTI experiment inherits and improves upon algorithms from the Advanced Rendezvous Demo using GPS and Optical Navigation (ARGON) experiment, for which D'Amico was the PI. The AVANTI experiment is an in-flight technological demonstrator of the essential enabling technologies for on-orbit servicing missions and will exploit a fully vision-based navigation approch by employing simple passive low-cost sensors such as optical and infra-red cameras.