CA-SpaceNet: Counterfactual Analysis for 6D Pose Estimation in Space

by   Shunli Wang, et al.
FUDAN University

Reliable and stable 6D pose estimation of uncooperative space objects plays an essential role in on-orbit servicing and debris removal missions. Considering that the pose estimator is sensitive to background interference, this paper proposes a counterfactual analysis framework named CASpaceNet to complete robust 6D pose estimation of the spaceborne targets under complicated background. Specifically, conventional methods are adopted to extract the features of the whole image in the factual case. In the counterfactual case, a non-existent image without the target but only the background is imagined. Side effect caused by background interference is reduced by counterfactual analysis, which leads to unbiased prediction in final results. In addition, we also carry out lowbit-width quantization for CA-SpaceNet and deploy part of the framework to a Processing-In-Memory (PIM) accelerator on FPGA. Qualitative and quantitative results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed method. To our best knowledge, this paper applies causal inference and network quantization to the 6D pose estimation of space-borne targets for the first time. The code is available at


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