Relative Pose Estimation for Planetary Entry Descent Landing

  • Luca Zini
  • Francesca Odone
  • Alessandro Verri
  • Piergiorgio Lanza
  • Alessandra Marcer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6469)


The paper is about the estimation of the relative position of a spacecraft, during the Entry Descent Landing (EDL) phase, by means of computer vision. A camera installed on board of the vehicle acquires images that are used for estimating the relative position of the camera between two consecutive images. A crucial point of the analysis, and the main objective of this work, is the estimation of the fundamental matrix F, considering the fact that in most cases we deal with a quasi-degenerate configuration. Indeed, the distance between the spacecraft (and the camera) and the planet surface, together with the morphology of the ground, make the problem difficult since most of the points will be extracted from a dominating plane. We discuss two different ways of addressing such degeneracy, while keeping the computational cost low, and present very promising results on synthetic as well as real image sequences.


Fundamental Matrix Point Correspondence Epipolar Line Epipolar Geometry Pure Translation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Chen, H., Meer, P.: Robust regression with projection based m-estimators. In: Proc. of IEEE ICCV, pp. 878–885 (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cheng, Y., Johnson, A., Matthies, L.: Mer-dimes: A planetary landing applications of computer vision. In: IEEE Proc. CVPR (2005)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cheng, Y., Goguen, J., Johnson, A., Leget, C., Matthies, L., San Martin, M., Willson, R.: The mars exploration rovers descent image motion estimation system. IEEE Intelligent Systems 19(3), 13–21 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cheng, Y., Johnson, A., Matthies, L., Wolf, A.: Passive imaging based hazard avoidance for spacecraft safe landing. In: Proc. iSAIRAS (2001)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cross, G., Fitzgibbon, A.W., Zisserman, A.: Parallax geometry of smooth surfaces in multiple views. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Computer Vision, Kerkyra, Greece (1999)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Navigation for planetary approach a general approach and landing (May 2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fischler, M.A., Bolles, R.C.: Random sample consensus: A paradigm for model fitting with applications to image analysis and automated cartography. Communications of the ACM 24(6), 381–395 (1981)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hartley, R.I., Zisserman, A.: Multiple View Geometry in Computer Vision, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2004), ISBN: 0521540518CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Huertas, A., Cheng, Y., Madison, R.: Passive imaging based multicue hazard detection for safe spacecraft landing. In: Proc. IEEE/AIAA Aerosp. Conf., pp. 1–14 (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pollefeys, M., Frahm, J.-M.: Ransac for (quasi-)degenereate data (qdegsac). In: IEEE Proc. CVPR (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Parkes, S., Martin, I., Dunstan, M.: Planet surface simulation with pangu. In: Eighth International Conference on Space Operations (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Torr, P.H.S.: Bayesian model estimation and selection for epipolar geometry and generic manifold fitting. IJCV 50(1), 35–61 (2002)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Torr, P.H.S., Zisserman, A.: MLESAC: A new robust estimator with application to estimating image geometry. Computer Vision and Image Understanding 78(1), 138–156 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wong, E., Singh, G., Masciarelli, J.P.: Autonomous guidance and control design for hazard avoidance and safe landing on mars. In: AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanic’s Conference (2002)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Zini
    • 1
  • Francesca Odone
    • 1
  • Alessandro Verri
    • 1
  • Piergiorgio Lanza
    • 2
  • Alessandra Marcer
    • 2
  1. 1.DISIUniversità degli Studi di GenovaItaly
  2. 2.Thales Alenia Space Italia S.p.A.TorinoItaly

Personalised recommendations