Sodern develops a vision-based relative navigation sensor

As part of the European “Horizon 2020” (H2020) program*, the European Robotic Orbital Support Services (EROSS) project will demonstrate operational in-orbit servicing and refueling. EROSS will be developed by Thales Alenia Space France (TASF) and a consortium of 10 European companies including Sodern, which will provide a vision-based rendezvous sensor. Sodern is leveraging decades of experience regarding space optics and image processing to produce this rendezvous sensor. In 2008, Sodern provided the sensors responsible for guiding the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) through final approach and docking with the International Space Station (ISS), which was the first automated docking in history. Following this success, Sodern innovated a rendezvous sensor for non-cooperative applications called the Approach and Rendezvous Autonmous Multi-mission Integrated Sensor (ARAMIS) which will be demonstrated on the EROSS project. ARAMIS uses both the visible and infrared spectrum to improve accuracy and robustness to varying illumination conditions. ARAMIS’ embedded software also provides 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) navigation information to the servicer vehicle. Its optical heads are compact and offer a “plug and play” solution. Multiple fields of view allow full rendezvous coverage while its powerful electronic unit delivers relative attitude and position. Sodern has also developed a “NewSpace” version of ARAMIS based on COTS components that optimizes affordability and reliability


Sodern newsletter, January 2020


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The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation  Programme under Grant Agreement No 821904