Scientists from the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) have developed an optoelectronic system of relative navigation for docking with satellites. In the coming years, it is planned to test it on a bench, according to the IKI report for 2020.
It is noted that docking of spacecraft can be carried out for refuelling a satellite, correcting its orbit, dropping into a disposal orbit, assembling spacecraft in orbit, and other tasks. As explained at the institute, the system includes a narrow-angle and wide-angle TV cameras, a time-of-flight camera that receives 3D images of an object, as well as a laser rangefinder.
It is assumed that the recognition of images obtained in the process of future docking will take place in two stages which are shown in the pictures above. During rough recognition, it is planned to determine the viewing angle, distance and angular orientation, while in the process of accurate recognition, the mutual linear and angular position of the devices will be determined by minimizing the differences between the real and the reference images.