Angles-only navigation state observability during orbital proximity operations

David K. Geller, Itzik Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Angles-only navigation during proximity operations suffers from a well-documented range-observability problem when a single camera is assumed to be at the center of mass of the host vehicle. Inspired by this range-observability problem, this paper explores relative-position/-velocity observability when a single camera is offset from vehicle center of mass. Within the context of the Clohessy-Wiltshire dynamics, it is shown that relative position and velocity are generally observable when the camera offset is included in the problem formulation, enabling a range observability without Δν requirements. Although special cases are identified when the state is unobservable, the conclusion is that the relative state is generally observable even in the case of v-bar station keeping during attitude hold when the angle measurements are constant. The thesis that state observability results when the motion of the camera does not obey the Clohessy-Wiltshire dynamics is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1976-1983
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2013 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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