Sensor Data Fusion for Hazard Mapping and Piloting (FUSION)

The FUSION project was an ESA project which built on the previous Spin.Works developments related to visual+Lidar-based Hazard Detection and Avoidance for Lunar Landing Missions, and which applied this acquired expertise to two other ESA missions: the Mars Precision Lander Mission and a Phobos Sample Return mission.

An existing, modular, high-fidelity 6DOF simulation tool was adapted to generate as realistic a scenario for the HDA system as possible, and the mission scenarios and spacecraft systems (in particular, the spacecraft GNC systems) were studied in detail, leading to the implementation of a complete Guidance and Control solution for either mission.


Three different approaches were taken for the Hazard Detection and Avoidance system:

  • – The nominal Hybrid Hazard Detection and Avoidance System (H2DAS) was enhanced with Lidar map correlation, image-to-map correlation technologies, enabling the inclusion of a priori maps during descent
  • – An alternative, Hybrid Reasoning Function was developed for the Map Fusion stage of the algorithm, consisting of mutually-reinforcing fuzzy logic, probability reasoning, and evidential reasoning engines to yield an optimal decision-making process for landing site selection
  • – The final alternative, called Intelligent Planetary Site Selection (IPSIS) , was provided by Uninova. Besides from a fuzzy logic-based hazard mapping engine, it is prepared to use historical data and a combination of Particle Swarm Optimization and Tabu Search methods to reach very high probability of a safe site selection

The project was concluded successfully, with extensive 6DOF simulations for both Mars and Phobos D&L cases demonstrating a very high safe site selection probability (PSSS>99.5%); for the proposed spacecraft designs, even beyond the currently assumed hazard distributions at both Mars and Phobos.



For more information on Mars Precision Lander Mission, the Phobos Sample Return Mission, and other proposed missions in the Mars Robotic Exploration Programme, access the following overview:

To follow ongoing activities in ESA’s Planetary Exploration Programme, including the upcoming ExoMars mission, visit the ESA Website at: