Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3162349, 11 pages
Research Article

Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking with Nonfull Field of View for Tethered Space Robot

1National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight Dynamics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710072, China
2Research Center for Intelligent Robotics, School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710072, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Panfeng Huang

Received 14 October 2016; Revised 10 January 2017; Accepted 16 January 2017; Published 13 February 2017

Academic Editor: Christian Circi

Copyright © 2017 Panfeng Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the ultra-close approaching phase of tethered space robot, a highly stable self-attitude control is essential. However, due to the field of view limitation of cameras, typical point features are difficult to extract, where commonly adopted position-based visual servoing cannot be valid anymore. To provide robot’s relative position and attitude with the target, we propose a monocular visual servoing control method using only the edge lines of satellite brackets. Firstly, real time detection of edge lines is achieved based on image gradient and region growing. Then, we build an edge line based model to estimate the relative position and attitude between the robot and the target. Finally, we design a visual servoing controller combined with PD controller. Experimental results demonstrate that our algorithm can extract edge lines stably and adjust the robot’s attitude to satisfy the grasping requirements.