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Sensors 2015, 15(3), 6360-6382; doi:10.3390/s150306360

A Model-Based 3D Template Matching Technique for Pose Acquisition of an Uncooperative Space Object

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80, Naples 80125, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anton de Ruiter
Received: 28 December 2014 / Revised: 6 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 16 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Innovations for Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control)
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Abstract

This paper presents a customized three-dimensional template matching technique for autonomous pose determination of uncooperative targets. This topic is relevant to advanced space applications, like active debris removal and on-orbit servicing. The proposed technique is model-based and produces estimates of the target pose without any prior pose information, by processing three-dimensional point clouds provided by a LIDAR. These estimates are then used to initialize a pose tracking algorithm. Peculiar features of the proposed approach are the use of a reduced number of templates and the idea of building the database of templates on-line, thus significantly reducing the amount of on-board stored data with respect to traditional techniques. An algorithm variant is also introduced aimed at further accelerating the pose acquisition time and reducing the computational cost. Technique performance is investigated within a realistic numerical simulation environment comprising a target model, LIDAR operation and various target-chaser relative dynamics scenarios, relevant to close-proximity flight operations. Specifically, the capability of the proposed techniques to provide a pose solution suitable to initialize the tracking algorithm is demonstrated, as well as their robustness against highly variable pose conditions determined by the relative dynamics. Finally, a criterion for autonomous failure detection of the presented techniques is presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: model-based algorithms; pose acquisition; uncooperative target; template matching; point cloud; LIDAR model-based algorithms; pose acquisition; uncooperative target; template matching; point cloud; LIDAR
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Opromolla, R.; Fasano, G.; Rufino, G.; Grassi, M. A Model-Based 3D Template Matching Technique for Pose Acquisition of an Uncooperative Space Object. Sensors 2015, 15, 6360-6382.

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