Title:
Visual Odometry for Precision Lunar Landing

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Molina, Giovanni
Hansen, Michael
Getchius, Joel
Christensen, Randall
Christian, John A.
Stewart, Shaun
Crain, Tim
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Abstract
Intuitive Machines has developed a state-of-the-art precision landing and hazard avoidance (PLHA) system that will enable its Nova-C lunar lander to safely touch down on the lunar surface. This system consists of an array of sensors that includes an inertial measurement unit (IMU), optical camera, and a laser range finder sensor (LRFS) as well a series of algorithms which process and fuse the sensor data and produce measurements used in the navigation system. One of the measurements utilizes image processing and visual odometry (VO) to compute a delta-position (DPOS) measurement which describes the lander's direction of motion between two image captures. In this paper, we detail the development and implementation of this measurement for the Nova-C lander, demonstrate our rigorous testing methodologies and present our findings and results.
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Date Issued
2022-02
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Paper
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Unless otherwise noted, all materials are protected under U.S. Copyright Law and all rights are reserved