RVS

Rendezvous- and Docking Sensor

Jena-Optronik develops the RVS for the European Space Agency ESA and the Japanese Space Agency JAXA, as well as the American “Cygnus” in order to support and control the automated docking of unmanned transfer vehicles with the International Space Station ISS.

In 2008 the first ATV named "Jules Verne" has approached the International Space Station with a successful docking manoeuvre. Since then the RVS is used on these unmanned vehicles.

The automated docking is proceeded with the help of the Rendezvous- und Docking-Sensors RVS TGM (telegoniometer) und RVS VDM (videometer). From a distance of around 3.000 meters the system RVS is able to measure the distance and approaching direction of the ATV to the International Space Station: RVS sends laser beams as short light pulses, refelcting mirrors in the RVS channel these light pulses to the ISS. On the Russian module „Zvezda“ of the ISS, the ATV is docking to, special retro-reflectors are installed – comparable to the back lights of a car, but far more precise and thus more efficient – which blast back the laser light.

This light is re-captured by the RVS. From the time difference between the first sent and then re-captured light pulse and the viewing direction of the reflector system it will then be calculated how far the two space vehicles are remoted to each other, which relative speed they have and in which angle they are resting to each other so that a pinpointed and secure docking of the supply vehicle can finally be allowed.

An RVS prototype has already been successfully demonstrated in orbit during two campaigns of the Space Shuttles STS-84 and STS-86 docking to the MIR space station in 1997.

Space mission to the future: Sierra Nevada Corporation selected rendezvous and docking sensor technology from Jena

German-based space company Jena-Optronik was tapped as a supplier for the next generation spacecraft, the reusable Dream Chaser® spacecraft

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Excellent performance honored

German space company Jena-Optronik GmbH receives supplier award by Space System Loral.

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Konnichiwa, successful exhibition in Tokyo

From October, 12-15 2016 we presented us and our products on a GErman Joint booth together with DLR and OHB at the Japan Aerospace Exhibition, Tokyo

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Welcome!

Today’s generation requires a more in-depth knowledge of the world than the previous generation ever did. By exploring space, we are able to discover, survey and understand our home planet. On our updated website, we intend to give you an insight into the world of aerospace and the technology Jena-Optronik produces. Accompany us on our journey!

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Space: It’s all around us

Space inspires us all and creates a wealth of knowledge

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Events

  • April, 16-19 2018
    Space Symposium, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
  • February, 01-07 2018
    AAS Guidance & Control Conference, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA