NASA Scanning Technology Creates 3D Maps of Surface Flaws


The High-Speed 3D Laser Scanner, developed by NASA’s Ames Research Center, creates a highly accurate 3D map of a surface for measuring "flaws" or deviations on that surface. It was originally designed to scan Space Shuttle Orbiter thermal tiles to accurately detect and measure the depth, area, and volume of flaws on the tiles. Scans are accomplished at high speed, with the most accurate scan taking less than 3 seconds. The 3D scanner is small, light, and portable. The instrument connects to a portable PC that displays a 3D map of the scanned surface while scanning, identifies flaws on the surface, and displays the flaw measurements.

In addition, David Morse, Chief of Technology, Partnerships Division, will discuss the technology innovations at NASA’s Ames Research Center. ARC specializes in space, Earth, and biological research; entry, descent and landing systems; small satellite missions; next-generation airspace systems; green aviation; development of market-changing, disruptive technologies; and fostering a commercial space industry. In many ways, it is the research and technologies that emanate from Ames that not only enhance NASA missions, but make them possible.

David Morse
Chief of Technology Partnerships
NASA Ames Research Center

Joseph Lavelle
Senior Research Engineer and Project Manager
NASA Ames Research Center

Click here to view the webinar.