GPS-Based Control for Space Vehicle Rendezvous

by Kurt R. Zimmerman, Stanford Univ, United States,
Robert H. Cannon, Jr., Stanford Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Robotics for Challenging Environments


The recent advent of Differential Carrier Phase Global Position System (GPS) sensing has made it possible to determine relative positions of GPS receiver-equipped systems to less than 1 cm RMS, orders of magnitude more accurate than previously available techniques. This high accuracy has made it possible to determine the attitude as well as relative position of robots, satellites, and other systems equipped with multiple GPS antennas. This paper presents work at the Stanford University Aerospace Robotics Laboratory (ARL) regarding initial theoretical development and experimental results in the use of Differential Carrier Phase GPS for accurate sensing and control of relative position and attitude for free-flying vehicles. Discussion of indoor experiments as well as issues relevant to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) rendezvous between a free-flying space robot and a satellite are also presented.

Subject Headings: Automation and robotics | Global navigation satellite systems | Satellites | Orbits | Global positioning systems | Vehicles | Space stations

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search