Keyword: Altimeters

Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Microcontroller Altimeter (uCA)

Traditional altitude switch designs for harsh environments are mechanical in nature and operate by means of an inflatable bladder or bellows that mechanically depresses a pushbutton switch. The altitude trip point is set by mechanically adjusting the distance of the switch to the bellows. The mechanical action of...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a new radar approach that uses a single phased array antenna and a single-pass configuration to generate interferograms, known as Digital Beamforming...

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Polymicro Technologies™ optical fiber
Lisle, IL
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Visual-Aided Inertial Navigation for Computationally Constrained Aerial Vehicles

Micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) are lightweight, highly dynamic vehicles with limited payload, sensing, and computation capabilities. There is significant interest to automate MAVs for military surveillance, reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue missions. The current...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
A 16-Beam, Non-Scanning, Swath-Mapping Laser Altimeter Instrument

The purpose of this work was to develop and demonstrate technologies for a next-generation, efficient, swath-mapping space laser altimeter. The Lidar Surface Topography (LIST) mission concept allows simultaneous measurements of 5-meter-spatial-resolution topography and vegetation...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Twin Head Efficient Oscillator Development for the ACE Multi- Beam Lidar and 3D-Winds

The Twin Head Efficient Oscillator (THEO) concept uses a pair of smaller, identical laser pump modules, oriented to remove asymmetrical thermo-optical effects typical in single-slab lasers such as HOMER (High Output Maximum Efficiency Resonator), MLA (Mercury...

Briefs: Software

G-CAT is a covariance analysis tool that enables fast and accurate computation of error ellipses for descent, landing, ascent, and rendezvous scenarios, and...

Articles: Software
Mark Wagner, Ben Madoff, and Mark Rudolph
Sensorcon, Buffalo, NY

What if sensors, meters, and instruments were just apps instead of single-purpose, bulky, expensive equipment? Sensordrone is a first step towards...

Briefs: Information Technology
High-Rate Data-Capture for an Airborne Lidar System

A high-rate data system was required to capture the data for an airborne lidar system. A data system was developed that achieved up to 22 million (64-bit) events per second sustained data rate (1408 million bits per second), as well as short bursts (

Application Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Laser Systems Will Enable NASA Satellite to Measure Sea Ice
Flight lasers and test laser
Herndon, VA

Managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) mission is scheduled to launch in 2016. The satellite will...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A test port designed as part of a fiber-optic-coupled laser altimeter receiver optical system allows for the back-illumination of the optical system for alignment verification, as well as...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

A compact and portable target assembly (Fig. 1) has been developed to measure the boresite alignment of LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument at the spacecraft...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Smaller (volume, mass, power) electronics for a Ka-band (36 GHz) radar interferometer were required. To reduce size and achieve better control over RF-phase versus temperature, fully hybrid electronics...

Briefs: Information Technology
Algorithm for Autonomous Landing

Because of their small size, high maneuverability, and easy deployment, micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) are used for a wide variety of both civilian and military missions. One of their current drawbacks is the vast array of sensors

(such as GPS, altimeter, radar, and the like) required to make a landing. Due...

Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
FPGA Sequencer for Radar Altimeter Applications

A sequencer for a radar altimeter provides accurate attitude information for a reliable soft landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is a field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA)-only implementation. A table loaded externally into the FPGA controls timing, processing, and decision...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

The figure shows a dual-beam, dual- polarization Ku-band antenna, the reflector of which comprises an assembly of small reflectarrays arranged in a piecewise-planar approximation of a parabolic...

Briefs: Information Technology

A method of incorporating information, acquired by a multibeam laser or radar altimeter system, pertaining to the distance and direction between the system and a nearby target...

Briefs: Aerospace

A computer program called "phxlrsim" simulates the behavior of the radar system used as an altimeter and velocimeter during the entry, descent, and landing phases of the Phoenix lander...

Briefs: Physical Sciences

The terminal descent sensor (TDS) is a radar altimeter/velocimeter that improves the accuracy of velocity sensing by more than an order of magnitude when compared to existing sensors. The TDS is designed...

Briefs: Information Technology

The descent image motion estimation system (DIMES) is a system of hardware and software, designed for original use in estimating the horizontal velocity of a spacecraft descending...

Application Briefs: Research Lab
NASA Institute Studies and Identifies Martian Land Formations

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston is part of the Universities Space Research Association, and is a NASAfunded institute that conducts research in the lunar, planetary, and terrestrial sciences on behalf of university science departments and NASA. The most recent...

Briefs: Software
Robust Control for the Mercury Laser Altimeter

Mercury Laser Altimeter Science Algorithms is a software system for controlling the laser altimeter aboard the Messenger spacecraft, which is to enter into orbit about Mercury in 2011. The software will control the altimeter by dynamically modifying hardware inputs for gain, threshold, channel-...

Briefs: Software
Program Analyzes Radar Altimeter Data

A computer program has been written to perform several analyses of radar altimeter data. The program was designed to improve on previous methods of analysis of altimeter engineering data by (1) facilitating and accelerating the analysis of large amounts of data in a more direct manner and (2) improving the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Laser Ranging Simulation Program

Laser Ranging Simulation Program (LRSP) is a computer program that predicts selected aspects of the performances of a laser altimeter or other laser ranging or remote-sensing systems and is especially applicable to a laser-based system used to map terrain from a distance of several kilometers. Designed to run in...

Briefs: Software
Software for Global Forecasting of Winds and Waves

The WorldWinds™ software system generates high-resolution global weather forecasts, with emphasis on wind and ocean-wave vectors, in nearly real time. WorldWinds™ was developed primarily to serve organizations and individuals needing accurate forecasts for scientific, safety, or economic...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Small Lidar Altimeter Would Operate at Low Light Levels

A lidar apparatus called a microaltimeter has been proposed for use aboard a spacecraft in orbit around the Earth for mapping land and sea surfaces, including such features of special interest as ice, tree canopies, and flood plains. The microaltimeter is short for "microlaser altimeter"...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Data-Acquisition System Takes 8-Bit Samples at 1 GHz

A unique data-acquisition system converts analog input voltages to 8-bit digital data at a rate as high as 109 samples per second (1 GHz), stores the data, and makes the data available for further processing. The system is compact, is highly resistant to ionizing radiation,...

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