High-orbit satellite servicing and planetary science missions are presented with unique challenges including a harsh environment and long mission life, coupled with the need for long-range, high-speed, accurate measurements. Conventional systems suffer from high costs of bringing other solutions to market and questionable reliability.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center developed the Kodiak 3D LiDAR system that consists of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) beam steering, high-performance reconfigurable computing, and an in-depth understanding of systems-level integration. Kodiak combines a 3D MEMS scanning LiDAR with a long-range, narrow field-of-view (FOV) telescope to produce a flexible and capable spaceflight ranging system. Also included is SpaceCube-level processing power to host a variety of algorithms, enabling sensing and six degrees of freedom.

The Kodiak LiDAR offers low size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements and is capable of generating 3D imaging in nearly any lighting condition from long ranges. In addition to space detection and ranging, applications include proximity laser ranging and autonomous vehicles.

NASA is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology. Please contact NASA’s Licensing Concierge at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at 202-358-7432 to initiate licensing discussions. Follow this link here  for more information.


Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the February, 2021 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from this issue here.

Read more articles from the archives here.