Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


David K Geller


As NASA prepares to return humans to the moon and establish a long-term presence on the surface, technologies must be developed to access previously unvisited terrain regardless of the condition. Among these technologies is a guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system capable of safely and precisely delivering a spacecraft, whether manned or robotic, to a predetermined landing area. This thesis presents detailed research of both terrain-relative navigation using a terrain-scanning instrument and beacon-relative radiometric navigation using beacons in lunar orbit or on the surface of the moon. The models for these sensors are developed along with a baseline sensor suite that includes an altimeter, IMU, velocimeter, and star camera. Linear covariance analysis is used to rapidly perform the trade studies relevant to this problem and to provide the navigation performance data necessary to determine which navigation method is best suited to support a 100 m 3-σ navigation requirement for landing anytime and anywhere on the moon.