Applying Commercial Off-the-shelf Sensors for Close-Range Distance Measurement in Space

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M. Grimm et al. (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.262-267

Refcode: 2018.71.262
Keywords: Sensor fusion, Distance estimation, Space debris, COTS in space

Applying Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components is a key enabler for the success of commercializing space. The technical advantage of COTS parts is nowadays immense compared to space qualified parts. In this work we demonstrate a combination of COTS distance sensors for the use in space, especially for space debris removal. We conducted several environmental stress tests such as Total Ionizing Dose (TID) test, a 3MeV proton test, a mechanical vibration test and a thermal-vacuum test to understand the various degradation mechanisms of our selected sensors. The test results indicate a sufficient hardness of all selected sensors. We considered the observed degradation effects in the conception of our sensor fusion and were able to demonstrate an improvement of the overall distance measurement in terms of accuracy and successful detection sample rate compared to a single-sensor solution.

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