This paper presents the optical navigation results of the asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 during the final rendezvous approach phase with the asteroid Ryugu. The orbit determination of Hayabusa2 during the cruising phase uses a triangulation-based method that estimates the probe and asteroid orbits using the directions from which they are observed. Conversely, the asteroid size is available as optical information just prior to arrival. The size information allows us to estimate the relative distance between the probe and the asteroid with high accuracy, that is strongly related to the success or failure of the rendezvous. In this study, the relative distance and asteroid size in real space are simultaneously estimated in real time by focusing on the rate of change of the asteroid size observed in sequential images. The real-time estimation results coincided with those of precise analyses performed after arrival.
Astrodynamics – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 13, 2020