Increased Spatial Resolution Lidars and 3D Robotic Vision




The Lunar Orbiting Laser Altimeter (LOLA) on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launched in 2009 was NASA's first multi-beam lidar. LOLA has produced unprecedented topographic maps of the Lunar surface. LOLA used a Diffractive Optical Element (DOE) to produce five beams from a single laser for enhanced topographic spatial resolution.

We have filed a patent application for a simple and flexible imaging device to produce large arrays of beams for topographic mapping and 3D robotic vision. Recently, our imaging device was deployed in a 16-beam airborne swath mapping lidar. We will describe this system called the Airborne Lidar Surface Topography mission Simulator (ALISTS) and results.

altOur imaging device allows for simultaneous measurement of full surface topography using a custom time-of-flight camera. This is especially useful for robotic vision in manufacturing. We will describe our initial development efforts of this flash lidar system.

NASA is studying a notional mission that would debut a fully "robotic servicing vehicle" that could repair, refuel, and reposition customer satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit, or GEO-even if they were not designed to be serviced. This robotic servicing mission requires a three-dimensional robotic vision system. We will discuss engineering trades and the development of a robotic vision system that we have transferred from the Army Research Laboratory for space-qualification and deployment

Also, Darryl Mitchell, Senior Technology Manager of the Innovative Partnerships Program Office, will discuss the exciting technologies being developed at Goddard for NASA missions.

Michael Krainak, Head of the Laser and Electro-Optics Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Darryl Mitchell, Senior Technology Manager, Innovative Partnerships Program Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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