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Autonomous rendezvous and robotic capturing of non-cooperative target in space

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 August 2009

Wenfu Xu*
The Institute of Space Intelligent System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, P.R. China Postdoctoral Work-station, Shenzhen Academy of Aerospace Technology, Shenzhen, P.R. China
Bin Liang
The Institute of Space Intelligent System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, P.R. China
Cheng Li
The Institute of Space Intelligent System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, P.R. China
Yangsheng Xu
Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, P.R. China.
*Corresponding author. E-mail:


The technologies of autonomous rendezvous and robotic capturing of non-cooperative targets are very crucial for the future on-orbital service. In this paper, we proposed a method to achieve this aim. Three problems were addressed: the target recognition and pose (position and attitude) measurement based on the stereo vision, the guidance, navigation and control (GNC) of the chaser, and the coordinated plan and control of space robot (CP&C). The pose measurement algorithm includes image filtering, edge detection, line extraction, stereo match and pose computing, et al. Based on the measured values, a certain GNC algorithm was designed for the chaser to approach and rendezvous with the target. Then the CP&C algorithm, which is proved to be advantageous over the traditional separated method, was used to plan and track the trajectories of the base pose and the joint angle. At last, a 3D simulation system was developed to evaluate the proposed method. Simulation results verified the corresponding algorithms.

Robotica , Volume 28 , Issue 5 , September 2010 , pp. 705 - 718
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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