The "On-Orbit Servicing and Autonomy" group of the Space Flight Technology department conducts applied research for future robotic OOS-missions (On-Orbit Servicing) and for Earth observation missions.
In the field of On-orbit Servicing, new GNC-concepts (Guidance, Navigation and Control) based on optical navigation (camera, LIDAR) are developed for the approach to non-cooperative targets like satellites at the end of their life-cycle or space debris. With the robotic test facility EPOS 2.0 (European Proximity Operations Simulator) the rendezvous and docking (RvD) process, as well as the developed GNC-methods are verified by HIL (hardware-in-the-loop) simulations.
The research goal for Earth observation missions is the development of intelligent on-board processing methods for Earth observation data. They allow for a significant optimization of such missions. Additionally, completely new applications can be realized, as the detection of ships for maritime real-time surveillance.