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3-D Flash Lidar Performance in Flight Testing on the Morpheus Autonomous, Rocket-Propelled Lander to a Lunar-Like Hazard FieldFor the first time, a 3-D imaging Flash Lidar instrument has been used in flight to scan a lunar-like hazard field, build a 3-D Digital Elevation Map (DEM), identify a safe landing site, and, in concert with an experimental Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) system, help to guide the Morpheus autonomous, rocket-propelled, free-flying lander to that safe site on the hazard field. The flight tests served as the TRL 6 demo of the Autonomous Precision Landing and Hazard Detection and Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) system and included launch from NASA-Kennedy, a lunar-like descent trajectory from an altitude of 250m, and landing on a lunar-like hazard field of rocks, craters, hazardous slopes, and safe sites 400m down-range. The ALHAT project developed a system capable of enabling safe, precise crewed or robotic landings in challenging terrain on planetary bodies under any ambient lighting conditions. The Flash Lidar is a second generation, compact, real-time, air-cooled instrument. Based upon extensive on-ground characterization at flight ranges, the Flash Lidar was shown to be capable of imaging hazards from a slant range of 1 km with an 8 cm range precision and a range accuracy better than 35 cm, both at 1-delta. The Flash Lidar identified landing hazards as small as 30 cm from the maximum slant range which Morpheus could achieve (450 m); however, under certain wind conditions it was susceptible to scintillation arising from air heated by the rocket engine and to pre-triggering on a dust cloud created during launch and transported down-range by wind.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Roback, Vincent E.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Amzajerdian, Farzin
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Bulyshev, Alexander E.
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Brewster, Paul F.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Barnes, Bruce W.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
July 20, 2016
Publication Date
April 17, 2016
Subject Category
Lasers And Masers
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 2016 SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing
Location: Baltimore, MD
Country: United States
Start Date: April 17, 2016
End Date: April 21, 2016
Sponsors: International Society for Optical Engineering
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 432938.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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