The imaging LiDAR of the in-orbit demonstration RemoveDEBRIS

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Ummel, Antoine
Pollini, Alexandre
Pache, Christophe
Droz, Fabien
In the frame of the low-cost RemoveDEBRIS mission to demonstrate Active Debris Removal (ADR) technologies, CSEM successfully developed the VBN instrument: a vision-based payload comprising a LiDAR and a visible camera. Following a New Space approach, the technology was matured from TRL2 to TRL9 within a 4-year timeframe. The final instrument fits within a volume of 10 x 10 x 15 cm3, weighs less than 1.8 kg and presents an average power consumption of 6.2 W. It includes: • An indirect Time-of-Flight LiDAR sensitive in the near-infrared spectrum, with a resolution of 120 x 160 pixels within a field-of-view of 6° x 8°. • A visible color camera with a resolution of 1536 x 2048 within a field-of-view of 16° x 21°. The developed instrument was integrated on board the RemoveDEBRIS spacecraft, which was launched towards the ISS in April 2018 and released in orbit in June 2018. The VBN instrument successfully contributed to the NET capture, the VBN and the Harpoon capture demonstration. This mission demonstrated the capability of the VBN instrument to sustain 8 months in space with full operational capability and the suitability of the New Space approach for such a time-constrained development.
Publication Reference
GNC & ICATT, (online only), pp. 15