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Deep Impact Navigation System Performance

Author:
Frauenholz, Raymond B.   Bhat, Ramachandra S.   Chesley, Steven R.   Mastrodemos, Nickolaos   Owen, Jr, William M.   Ryne, Mark S.  


Journal:
Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets


Issue Date:
2008


Abstract(summary):

Deep Impact successfully met its primary mission objective on 4 July 2005 when the smart impactor guided itself into the path of Comet 9P/Tempel 1. The mother flyby spacecraft then observed and recorded the breathtaking collision and subsequent plume development. Ground-based navigators. targeted the prerelease trajectory using optical navigation image planning and data analysis, trajectory correction maneuver design and evaluation, and orbit determination using both radiometric and optical data. In-flight improvements to the Tempel 1 ephemeris were also a critical part of the overall navigation design and operations success. The achieved navigation accuracy established a new standard for comet encounters, and this difficult task taught several important lessons. This definitive work provides a mission overview, summarizes the navigation requirements, compares the achieved navigation performance with a baseline design that reflects in-flight updates, and identifies operational procedures that may benefit future confet-bound navigators.


Page:
39-56


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