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Helicopter Flight Test of 3-D Imaging Flash LIDAR Technology for Safe, Autonomous, and Precise Planetary LandingTwo flash lidars, integrated from a number of cutting-edge components from industry and NASA, are lab characterized and flight tested for determination of maximum operational range under the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) project (in its fourth development and field test cycle) which is seeking to develop a guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) and sensing system based on lidar technology capable of enabling safe, precise crewed or robotic landings in challenging terrain on planetary bodies under any ambient lighting conditions. The flash lidars incorporate pioneering 3-D imaging cameras based on Indium-Gallium-Arsenide Avalanche Photo Diode (InGaAs APD) and novel micro-electronic technology for a 128 x 128 pixel array operating at 30 Hz, high pulse-energy 1.06 micrometer Nd:YAG lasers, and high performance transmitter and receiver fixed and zoom optics. The two flash lidars are characterized on the NASA-Langley Research Center (LaRC) Sensor Test Range, integrated with other portions of the ALHAT GN&C system from partner organizations into an instrument pod at NASA-JPL, integrated onto an Erickson Aircrane Helicopter at NASA-Dryden, and flight tested at the Edwards AFB Rogers dry lakebed over a field of human-made geometric hazards during the summer of 2010. Results show that the maximum operational range goal of 1 km is met and exceeded up to a value of 1.2 km. In addition, calibrated 3-D images of several hazards are acquired in real-time for later reconstruction into Digital Elevation Maps (DEM's).
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Roback, Vincent
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Bulyshev, Alexander
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Amzajerdian, Farzin
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Reisse, Robert
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
April 29, 2013
Subject Category
Spacecraft Instrumentation And Astrionics
Report/Patent Number
SPIE 8731-17
Meeting Information
Meeting: SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing 2013
Location: Baltimore, MD
Country: United States
Start Date: April 29, 2013
End Date: May 3, 2013
Sponsors: International Society for Optical Engineering
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 743588.04.01.09
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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