Keyword: Terrain

Facility Focus: Test & Measurement
Stennis now is testing RS-25 rocket engines for the Space Launch System (SLS) that will carry humans back to the Moon.
Articles: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Perseverance will have the ability to land in more challenging terrain than Curiosity, making more rugged sites eligible as safe landing candidates.
Briefs: Aerospace
Landers to small bodies such as comets and asteroids can use this program to estimate the terrain richness of the previously unmapped small body.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
An upgraded mini robot can leap over obstacles with ease.
Briefs: RF & Microwave Electronics

Radar technologies were originally designed to identify and track airborne military targets. Today, they're more often used to detect motor vehicles, weather formations,...

Briefs: Medical

Researchers have developed an innovative design for a wheelchair that can more easily navigate on soft and uneven outdoor terrain such as grass and gravel. The chair uses three wheels — two wheels in the front...

NASA Spinoff: Photonics/Optics

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2)....

Briefs: Software
Acoustic Propagation and Emulation Toolset (APET)

Currently, APET includes a modified version of the Rotorcraft Noise Model (RNM, version 7). It also includes the newly developed Spectral Attenuation Method (SAM), which contains the Ray Tracing Program (RTP) and two versions of a Green's Function Parabolic Equation (GFPE) code. The third...

Briefs: Motion Control

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) were inspired by origami when they developed the Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot (PUFFER). Its lightweight design — which can hitch a ride...

Briefs: Aerospace

NASA Langley Research Center researchers have developed an airplane capable of being stowed in a confined volume and deployed in a high-altitude environment for...

Briefs: Motion Control

Roboticists at the University of California, Berkeley, have designed a small robot that can leap into the air and then spring off a wall, or perform multiple vertical jumps in a row, resulting in...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control

Researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), in collaboration with General Motors and Oceaneering, have designed a state-of-the-art, highly dexterous, humanoid robot: Robonaut 2 (R2)....

Briefs: Information Technology
Detection and Characterization of Recurring Slope Lineae

Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) are low-albedo features that appear and disappear seasonally on Martian slopes. They provide distinct surface markers that are thought to result from the activity of subsurface water. Reliable characterizations of RSL activity are needed to test this...

Briefs: Aerospace

NASA has developed a traffic management system for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) to maintain safe and efficient UAS operations. This novel technology enables the growth in civilian applications of...

Briefs: Test & Measurement
Small-Body Testbed

This technology allows one to test small-body surface mobility and sampling systems in the laboratory. It is capable of simulating a microgravity environment with relevant terrain. The magnitude of the gravity, the terrain properties, and the surface system being tested are all easily modified to allow for a broad range of...

Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

NASA Glenn researchers have developed a spoked drive mechanism for robots and other vehicles that is capable of two rotational modes. This robust ground traction (drive) assembly for remotely controlled vehicles...

Briefs: Aerospace
System and Method for Aiding Pilot Preview, Rehearsal, Review, and Real-Time Visual Acquisition of Flight Mission Progress

NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a synthetic 3D visualization flight display that presents flight data information in an intuitive way using 3D computer graphic capabilities. The flight crew can preview and...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Characterizing Richness of Previously Unmapped Terrain and Estimating its Impact on Navigation Performance using 3D Range Sensors in Flight

Landers to large planetary bodies such as Mars typically use a secondary reconnaissance spacecraft to generate high-fidelity 3D terrain maps that are subsequently used for landing site selection and creating...

Application Briefs: Imaging

Today’s robots easily execute “pick-and-place” tasks: finding an object in one specified location and bringing it to another. But what if there are obstacles in a robot’s way? And what...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics

Using a custom-designed drone, a researcher from The Ohio State University mapped glaciers and wetlands in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Despite a discovered drop in glacier growth, the findings...

Briefs: Imaging
Characterizing Richness of Previously Unmapped Terrain and Estimating its Impact on Navigation Performance using 3D Range Sensors in Flight

Landers to large planetary bodies such as Mars typically use a secondary reconnaissance spacecraft to generate high-fidelity 3D terrain maps that are subsequently used for landing site selection and creating...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Autonomous Micro Aerial Vehicle Flight Using Optical Flow and Inertial Cues

Micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) are agile and have unstable flight dynamics. They require a failsafe method to be navigated through areas even without GPS coverage. The approach of this work is to use only the feature matches between two consecutive images, i.e. optical...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
DshellCommon Simulation Framework

DshellCommon software has been developed for specifying and executing generic multibody system simulations. This innovation helps the user create and execute simulations for mechanisms, vehicles, spacecraft, or other systems by making it easier to write simulation “run scripts” for systems that vary from...

Briefs: Physical Sciences
Digital Elevation Model Maker (DEMmaker)

The DEMmaker suite of software applications produces data products containing surface shape, reflectivity, and geomorphology (craters and rocks) for a desired planetary surface based on statistically accurate size and frequency distributions of geologic and surface impact features. The current version can...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Visual Environment for Remote Virtual Exploration (VERVE)

VERVE is a 3D visualization system that provides situational awareness, science analysis tools, and data understanding capabilities for robotics researchers and exploration science operations. VERVE includes telemetry views that show remote system status, and can be extended to support...

Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Risk-Aware Mars Rover Operation Tool with Autonomous Terrain Classifier and Path Planner

The greatest single source of risks for Mars rovers is terrain. These risks are currently managed by a labor-intensive process in which rover operators carefully examine the terrain and plan a path to avoid any potential hazards. This poses a challenge,...

Briefs: Imaging
CubeSat-Compatible, High-Resolution, Thermal Infrared Imager

A small, adaptable, and stable thermal imaging system was developed that can be flown on an aircraft, deployed on the International Space Station as an attached payload, launched on a ride-share as an entirely self-contained 3U CubeSat, flown on a small satellite, or be a co-manifested...

Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Lunar Cold Trap Contamination by Landing Vehicles

The emerging interest in lunar mining poses a threat of contamination to pristine craters at the lunar poles, which act as cold traps for water, and may harbor other valuable minerals. Lunar Prospector type missions will be looking for volatile (molecular) compounds that may be masked by the...