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The analysis of optical navigation in an Earth–Moon libration point orbit is examined. Missions to libration points have been winning momentum during the last decades. Its unique characteristics make it suitable for a number of operational and scientific goals. Literature aimed to study dynamics, guidance and control of unstable orbits around collinear libration points is vast. In particular, several papers deal with the optimisation of the Δv budget associated to the station-keeping of these orbits. One of the results obtained in literature establishes the critical character of the Moon–Earth system in this aspect. The reason for this behaviour is twofold: high Δv cost and short optimal manoeuvre spacing. Optical autonomous navigation can address the issue of allowing a more flexible manoeuvre design. This technology has been selected to overcome similar difficulties in other critical scenarios. This paper analyses in detail this solution. A whole GNC system is defined to meet the requirements imposed by the unstable dynamic environment. Finally, a real simulation of a spacecraft following a halo orbit of the L2 Moon–Earth system is carried out to assess the actual capabilities of the optical navigation in this scenario.
CitationVirgili , J. Autonomous optical navigation for orbits around Earth-Moon collinear libration points. "Acta astronautica", 2013, vol. 86, p. 119-125.
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