ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2020, Vol. 17, No. 7, pp. 50-57

Information support for spacecraft docking missions (preparation of reference images and development of recognition and measurement algorithms)

V.A. Grishin 1, 2 , A.V. Berezhkov 1 
1 Space Research Institute RAS, Moscow, Russia
2 Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 09.11.2020
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2020-17-7-50-57
The trend of modern control systems is to use more and more intelligent control methods. This allows the behavior of the controlled object to be optimized according to the current situation. Accordingly, the role of external information sensors, which are able to provide a large amount of data about the current situation and the external environment, is increasing. These highly informative sensors include vision systems. Such sensors have small dimensions, weight and power consumption. The use of the word “systems” is due to the fact that the output signal of television cameras included in the vision systems requires complex multi-stage processing. These processing methods are determined both by the current situation, observation conditions, and the tasks set at each specific moment in time. The complexity of the tasks of given objects images recognition (identification) in complicated observation conditions with high requirements for reliability leads to two results. Firstly, the formation of rather complex reference images of specified objects is required. Secondly, careful selection and development of recognition algorithms that should work with these reference images is required too. In the process of developing the algorithms, the efficiency and high reliability of the search, detection and recognition of specified objects should be confirmed. The good accuracy in measuring relative coordinates, which is important for control systems for docking of spacecraft, should also be confirmed. The paper provides information on the most interesting systems intended for testing the process of relative navigation during docking of spacecraft, as well as on the work being carried out in this direction at the Space Research Institute RAS.
Keywords: docking of spacecraft, pattern recognition, reference images, measurement of relative coordinates
Full text


  1. Brochard R., Lebreton J., Robin C., Kanani K., Jonniaux G., Masson A., Despré N., Berjaoui A., Scientific image rendering for space scenes with the SurRender software, Proc. 69th Intern. Astronautical Congress (IAC), 1–5 Oct. 2018, Bremen, Germany, 2018, arXiv: 1810.01423v1 (accessed 28.10.2020).
  2. Cremaschi F., Weikert S., Schäff S., Wiegand A., ASTOS, a reconfigurable software for design of mega constellations, operation of Flying Laptop and end-of-life disposal, Proc. 15th Intern. Conf. Space Operations, Marseille, France, 28 May – 1 June 2018, DOI: 10.2514/6.2018-2496.
  3. Molina M., Prieto J., Garcia G., Beech T., LAREDO: LAunching, REndezvous and DOcking Simulation Tool, Integration of Space-Based Assets within Full Spectrum Operations, Meeting Proc., Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, 2005, RTO-MP-SCI-150, Paper 11, 16 p.
  4. Tran L., Hennessey M., Abraham J., Simulation and Visualization of Dynamic Systems Using MATLAB, Simulink, Simulink 3D Animation, and SolidWorks, Proc. ASME 2011 Intern. Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE2011), 12–18 Nov. 2011, Denver, CO, USA, 2011, Paper IMECE2011-62704, pp. 335–344.
  5. Turbe M., McDuffie J., DeKock B., Betts K., Carrington C., SPARTAN: A High-Fidelity Simulation for Automated Rendezvous and Docking Applications, Proc. AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conf. and Exibit, 20–23 Aug. 2007, Hilton Head, South Carolina, 2007, Document ID 20070038369, 21 p.
  6. Weikert S., Wiegand A., Fichter W., Saage R., Coupled Mission and GNC Analysis for Space Robotic Missions, Proc. 63rd Intern. Astronautical Congress 2012 (IAC 2012), 1–5 Oct. 2012, Naples, Italy, 2012, Paper IAC-12-C1.1.7, pp. 5216–5225.