Special Issue "Sensor Innovations for Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control"


A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2015

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Anton de Ruiter
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, M5B 2K3, Canada
Website: http://www.ryerson.ca/aerospace/research/Research%20profiles/mctavish.html
E-Mail: aderuiter@ryerson.ca
Interests: guidance; navigation; control and dynamics of aerospace systems; control theory; state estimation theory

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John Enright
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto M5B 2K3, Canada
Website: http://www.ryerson.ca/aerospace/research/Research%20profiles/enright.html
E-Mail: jenright@ryerson.ca
Interests: spacecraft attitude estimation; star trackers; sun sensors; sensor processing; sensor calibration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emerging applications in small spacecraft ADCS, on-orbit proximity operations and planetary exploration, are driving researchers to develop innovative GNC technologies. We are pleased to announce this special issue of Sensors, and invite manuscripts that highlight recent advances in this field. The scope of this special issue will include:

  • Innovative designs for GNC sensors
  • Novel sensing concepts and architectures
  • Improvements in data processing techniques that enhance GNC performance.
  • Case studies illustrating advances in sensor modelling, calibration, testing, and flight experiments

Enquiries about the issue’s scope can be directed to the Guest Editors.

Prof. Dr. Anton de Ruiter
Prof. Dr. John Enright
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • attitude sensors
  • spacecraft guidance
  • flight experiment
  • spacecraft sensors
  • gps
  • star sensor
  • sun sensor
  • magnetometer
  • calibration
  • lidar

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Displaying article 1-3
p. 18498-18514
by , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(10), 18498-18514; doi:10.3390/s141018498
Received: 22 May 2014; in revised form: 2 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 8 October 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Innovations for Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control)
p. 17068-17088
by , , , , ,  and
Sensors 2014, 14(9), 17068-17088; doi:10.3390/s140917068
Received: 27 June 2014; in revised form: 27 August 2014 / Accepted: 10 September 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Innovations for Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control)
p. 15182-15202
by  and
Sensors 2014, 14(8), 15182-15202; doi:10.3390/s140815182
Received: 17 June 2014; in revised form: 24 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 19 August 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Innovations for Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: A Digital Imaging System for Relative Spacecraft Navigation
Authors: Manoranjan Majji, John L. Junkins
Affiliations: University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY and Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
The conceptual design of a novel relative navigation sensor is detailed in this paper. The proposed sensor is based on a high speed vision camera technology developed by Phasespace Inc., which generates high resolution images (2048x2048) at a frame rate of 100 Hz. The Phasespace vision camera is also equipped with special firmware that enables the analyst to program the camera to image 64x64 pixel regions of interest (ROIs) within its field of view at 3000 fps. Using LED lights that are modulated at up to 3000 fps, unique structured light beacons are mounted on the cooperative spacecraft. While using the same principles as the VisNav system developed by Junkins et. al., the relative navigation sensor simplifies the optoelectronic design process and provides an entirely digital approach to arrive at the 6 degree of freedom pose estimates, along with associated uncertainties of the state estimation process.

Type of Paper: Article
Space Vehicle Navigation with Cameras
Benoit Pigneur, Kartik B. Ariyur,
School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, USA
We use camera images of thousands of stars and their precisely known ephemerides to determine both the position and orientation of a space vehicle with respect to a suitable sidereal reference frame. We exploit the use of several inexpensive cameras on various faces of the space vehicle. We also systematically derive the propagation of error in our solution from pixel discretization errors through our nonlinear transformations and least squares solutions. Our analysis provides an explicit trade-off between the pixel resolution of the cameras and the accuracy of the navigation solution. We also investigate the integration of this solution with standard inertial sensors. We show that our sensing system avoids the need for expensive inertial sensors under some conditions.

Last update: 4 November 2014

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