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Relative Navigation and Guidance using Beacons

Relative Navigation and Guidance using Beacons


The objective of this study is to establish a relative navigation guidance method for rendezvous docking in deep space when the target is far away. This research aims to estimate the relative orbit of the target by estimating the direction of arrival of the beacon emitted by the target.



In future deep space exploration, many cooperative missions by multiple spacecraft are being considered. To achieve this, relative navigation guidance technology is essential to estimate the relative position and velocity between spacecrafts and perform appropriate maneuvers. When the target is in the vicinity, optical navigation using a camera is effective, but when the target is far away, an autonomous relative navigation guidance technique has not yet been established. In this study, we propose a method of relative radio navigation guidance using beacons. An observer receives a beacon emitted by a target using an array antenna and estimates the direction of arrival of the beacon, i.e., the direction of the target. Based on the directional information, the relative orbit of the target is estimated.
The proposed method enables cooperative missions between multiple spacecraft in deep space, and is expected to expand the range of feasible missions. In this study, we aim to establish the proposed method through numerical simulations and radio experiments.