Mercury surface smulation for Bepi Colombo Lander

Stephen Parkes, I. Martin, M. Dunstan, S. Mills

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


    The ESA Bepi Colombo mission to Mercury is due for launch in 2009 and was initially intended to include a lander. Computer vision based navigation is being considered for planetary landers to enable them to land softly, close to a pre-designated target landing spot, avoiding any small craters, boulders or other obstacles not visible in an orbital survey. The development and testing of a vision-based lander guidance system requires high-resolution images of the planet's surface which are not available for Mercury. The Space Systems Research Group at the University of Dundee have developed a computer tool for generating realistic simulated planetary surfaces and for producing the images of those simulated surfaces. This tool is ideal for supporting the development of vision-based navigation techniques and for testing their robustness. This paper describes the surface morphology of Mercury, introduces the planet surface simulation tool, describes its architecture, explains how it may be, readily integrated into a prototype vision-based navigation system, and gives some example images produced by the tool.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDASIA 2002 - Data Systems In Aerospace
    EditorsR. A. Harris
    PublisherESA Publications Division
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)9290928190
    Publication statusPublished - 2001
    EventDASIA 2002, Data Systems In Aerospace - Dublin, Ireland
    Duration: 13 May 200216 May 2002


    ConferenceDASIA 2002, Data Systems In Aerospace


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