Real-time state estimation for asteroid close-proximity operations via lidar altimetry and a particle filter

Brian Gaudet, Roberto Furfaro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Current practice for asteroid close proximity operations typically initiates a maneuver from a safe orbit, and then the maneuver is executed open loop, i.e., once the maneuver is initiated, an estimate of the spacecraft's state is not used to correct for errors. A problem with this approach is that extremely accurate modeling of the asteroid's dynamics is required. Moreover, even with accurate modeling, there is still often considerable error between the targeted and actual spacecraft state at the end of the maneuver, making precision touch and go (TAG) and landing maneuvers impossible. Without real-time spacecraft state estimation that can be coupled to a guidance law, there is no way to improve on this state of affairs. This paper demonstrates how such a real-time state estimation algorithm can be constructed using a Rao-Blackwellized particle filter, a laser altimeter, and an asteroid shape model. The state estimation algorithm is coupled with a guidance law, and precision TAG maneuvers on Itokawa and RQ36 are demonstrated via Monte Carlo simulations in a high fidelity simulation environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrodynamics 2013 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780877036050
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2013 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Astrodynamics 2013 - Hilton Head Island, SC, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2013Aug 15 2013

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Other2013 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Astrodynamics 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHilton Head Island, SC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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