Entry, Descent, and Landing

The Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) phase of a space mission requires high accuracy with a low margin for error. ARCLab’s work in this field focuses on pinpoint landing which in the past has required human operation and now requires new autonomous techniques to increase the frequency of future planetary exploration. There are three current projects on this topic:

  • Optimizing Mars entry trajectory using funnel library approach applied to bank angle and angle of attack dynamic modulation for enhanced safety of future crewed missions;
  • Improving current visual navigation triangulation methods for lunar landers to optimally perform with outlier-dominant (>50%) datasets; and
  • Using Kalman filtering methods to update IMU state information during EDL from available Lidar scans and relative pose estimates.

Image: Jet Propulsion Laboratory / NASA