Microcosm Autonomous Navigation System On-Orbit Operation


This paper describes the operation of the Microcosm Autonomous Navigation System (MANS) which was launched as an Air Force Phillips Laboratory Technology for Autonomous Operational Survivability -(TAOS) experimental payload on March 13, 1994. MANS determines the position, velocity, attitude, attitude rate, ground look point, and lighting conditions of the host satellite. As implemented on TAOS, MANS uses two opposite facing horizon scanners from Barnes Engineering known as Dual Cone Scanners because of their two Earth limb locating infrared cones. The Barnes sensors also have two narrow slits admitting light to a detector in the visible band to locate the edges of the Sun and Moon. The MANS software, developed by Microcosm, runs on a Honeywell Generic VHSIC Spaceborne Computer (GVSC). This output consists of short term averaged results and very accurate Kalman Filter solutions. The paper describes how MANS was implemented on TAOS and presents results to date of the MANS on-orbit operation and evaluation.

Download “Microcosm Autonomous Navigation System On-Orbit Operation”

Hosken, Robert W., and James R. Wertz, “Microcosm Autonomous Navigation System On-Orbit Operation, ” AAS Paper 95-074, 18th Anual AAS Guidance and Control Conference, Keystone, CO, February 1–5, 1995.