Backup State Observer Based on Optic Flow Applied to Lunar Landing

  • Sabiron Guillaume
  • Burlion Laurent
  • Jonniaux Grégory
  • Kervendal Erwan
  • Bornschlegl Eric
  • Raharijaona Thibaut
  • Ruffier Franck

  • GNC
  • LPV
  • Observer
  • Optimal Control
  • Visual Motion Sensor
  • VMS
  • Optic flow
  • Insect Vision
  • Bio-inspiration
  • Biorobotics


The observer presented in this paper, which was based on the use of three minimalistic bio-inspired Visual Motion Sensors (VMS) detecting Optic Flow (OF) cues, states was intended as a backup solution in the case of Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) failure. Contrary to most previous Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) solutions for planetary landing, which have involved a sensor suite including an IMU, an innovative strategy is presented here for estimating states without any need for inertial measurements, based solely on information about the relative velocity of the images of the surrounding environment. A Linear Parameter Varying (LPV) observer designed on a LPV system linearized around a reference trajectory, estimates: the ventral OF, the expansion OF and the local pitch angle. A previously developed observer was applied here to a larger class of nonlinear systems by making an ingenious change of variable. Simulations performed on a lunar landing scenario yielded satisfactory performance and showed the robustness of the OF based observer to initial uncertainties and measurement noise.