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Mars Cruise Orbit Determination from Combined Optical Celestial Techniques and X-ray Pulsars

  • Jiandong Liu (a1) (a2), Erhu Wei (a3) and Shuanggen Jin (a1) (a4)

The precise autonomous navigation for deep space exploration by combination of multi-source observation data is a key issue for probe control and scientific applications. In this paper, the performance of an integrated Optical Celestial Navigation (OCN) and X-ray Pulsars Autonomous Navigation (XNAV) system is investigated for the orbit of Mars Pathfinder. Firstly, OCN and XNAV single systems are realised by an Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF). Secondly, the integrated system is simulated with a Federated Kalman Filter (FKF), which can do the information fusion of the two subsystems of UKF and inherits the advantages of each subsystem. Thirdly, the performance of our system is evaluated by analysing the relationship between observation errors and navigation accuracy. The results of the simulation experiments show that the biases between the nominal and our calculated orbit are within 5 km in all three axes under complex error conditions. This accuracy is also better than current ground-based techniques.

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