So here we are, on the 31st of October the AVANTI experiment has begun!
The objective of the first weeks is to gradually approach BEESAT-4 in a semi-autonomous way. In other words, we want to perform a rendezvous as a sequence of smooth approaches with strong support and monitoring from ground. During this phase, the state of the formation is first estimated by analyzing the images on ground with the help of a human operator. Afterwards, we send onboard the resulting navigation solution together with the commands containing the target end-point of the approaching phase. Thus, although the navigation task is still strongly supported from ground, guidance and orbit control are already fully autonomous.
So far we collected already a lot of experience in imaging BEESAT-4 from a pretty large distance. Now it is time to explore how pictures look like while we get closer and closer, and, consequently, while BIROS will start rotating to keep the cubesat in the field of view of its camera. There are many questions that still need to be answered. How does BEESAT-4 look like when we come below 1 km? How do the camera and the attitude tracking mode behave at such a small distance?