The ‘SATSerwis’ Project

System of satellite mutual navigation for in-orbit servicing in-orbit servicing and for formation flight.

The project concerns the subject of mutual navigation of artificial satellites. It involves the problems of in-orbit servicing and formation flight. Regarding this topic, the authors wish to deal with the problem of navigation during mutual approach of satellites and during stabilized flight in formation. Here, we propose to use an autonomous visual navigation system. Visual navigation systems are currently extensively developed. We propose using them also for controlling satellites. Such a system, placed on an orbit, is supposed to evaluate mutual positions and movements of approaching objects based on observation in visible light. On this basis, the actuating system of the control is supposed to have the objects approach one another and enable flight in formation. A system for autonomous mutual navigation of satellites will be developed and verified by simulations as part of the project. The proposed navigation system can become one of essential components of missions aimed to extend functionality of satellites.

Project purposes:

The goal of the project is to implement applied research as a basis for developing in Poland a new system of satellite mutual navigation to enable satellite servicing and flying in formation. The system will rely on visual navigation using algorithms for image analysis aided by artificial intelligence and machine learning processes and by algorithms for controlling satellite flight in formation. Trajectory adjustment will be done by rocket engines.

Program name: Applied research program

Project value: PLN 4,579,402  

Amount of subsidy: PLN 4,114,508  

Project implementation timeframe: 01/09/2013 – 30/11/2016

Project type: National research project

Coordinator: Warsaw University of Technology, Energy and Aviation Mechanics Faculty


  • Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements PIAP
  • SENER Sp. z o.o.

Project financed by the National R&D Centre as part of the Applied Research Program