The SPARTANS facility consists of: (a) two Spacecraft Modules; (b) an external Control Station (computer); (c) a 2m x 3m glass-covered flat table over which the Spacecraft Modules can “float” with no friction thanks to an air-cushion system; and (d) a Global Navigation system, consisting of six external IR cameras that provide a fiducial reference of linear position and attitude (pose) of each Spacecraft Module. This two-vehicles testbed can provide a representative dynamic environment for the development and verification on the ground of coupled position and relative attitude Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) algorithms, Vision-based Navigation, Identification of Motion of a Tumbling Spacecraft, Collision Avoidance Maneuvers, Coordinated Retargeting and other techniques that are related to the formation flight of satellites in proximity conditions.


The MORPHEUS rover is a robotic vehicle designed as a test bed for planetary exploration missions technologies. It is equipped with a suite of technologies that enable it to navigate autonomously over a range of terrains, including rough and rocky landscapes. Mounted on top of the chassis is a sensor suite, which includes a stereo camera, lidar sensors, and other instruments for mapping and analyzing the surrounding terrain. The rover also features a GNSS RTK system, which is used as ground truth for evaluating the metrological performances of ego-motion algorithms. Using a combination of onboard algorithms and machine learning techniques, the rover can identify and navigate around obstacles, and find the most efficient path to its destination. In addition to its navigation capabilities, the rover is also equipped with a robotic arm for collecting loose soil and rocks.