Proba-3 is ESA’s – and the world’s – first precision formation flying mission

Proba-3 is a mission aiming at the in-orbit validation of Formation Flying and its associated technologies. Elecnor Deimos is responsible for the definition, implementation and exploitation of a rendezvous experiment on board Proba-3. This experiment will be the in-orbit validation of the visual-based GNC technologies for formation flying that Deimos has been developing since 2003. In particular, Deimos intends to demonstrate the real  feasibility of rendezvous operations in elliptical orbits as well as the implementation of the rendezvous profile through guidance manouvres based on vision–based navigation.

The mission, to be launched in 2018, will demonstrate formation flying in the context of a large-scale science experiment. A pair of satellites will fly together maintaining a fixed configuration as a ‘large rigid structure’ in space to prove formation flying technologies.

The paired satellites will together form a 150-m long solar coronagraph to study the Sun’s faint corona closer to the solar rim than has ever before been achieved. Besides its scientific interest, the experiment will be a perfect instrument to measure the achievement of the precise positioning of the two spacecraft.

The RendezVous experiment will be the in-orbit validation of Deimos visual-based GNC technologies for formation flying

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