Imaging

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on imaging, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs: Imaging
Virtual Windows to Supplement Conventional Spacecraft Windows

Legacy NASA spacecraft windows suffer from specialized costs and operational constraints associated with embedding optically transparent apertures within structures that are designed to maximize strength, safety, and environmental integrity. A new approach to the legacy window...

Briefs: Imaging
SCaN Optical Link Assessment Tool Version 2

In response to the requirements of the Space-Based Relay Study (SBRS) undertaken by NASA in 2013, as well as the Integrated Radio and Optical Communications (iROC) project being conducted by NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) beginning in 2012, a calculation procedure was required to rapidly assess the...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Optical Correlation Receiver

Precise distance, time, and pulse width measurements are required for many areas of science and engineering. Time-of-flight methods are often used to measure remote distances. Optical signals are attractive because the small wavelength allows small transmit and receive telescopes. Short pulsed lasers are attractive...

Briefs: Imaging
Exploration Visualization Environment

The Exploration Visualization Environment (EVE) is a simulation, visualization, and analysis system designed to integrate engineering data with a virtual environment in support of the design and planning of space-based missions. Through the integration of time-dependent data with detailed graphical models...

Briefs: Medical
Ultrasound Competence Test Metrics

Diagnostic medical ultrasound requires psychomotor skill in image acquisition and cognitive skill in image interpretation. There is a lack of an objective, quantitative, and standardized method to assess psychomotor skill. In traditional radiology and cardiology training programs, physicians are certified based...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Thermal Cycle Qualification of Radiated Solar Arrays for 50 to 133 K Temperatures in Vacuum

Solar arrays (radiated or non-radiated) and other technologies are candidate materials for projects in JPL. Some of the projects need to qualify these potential technologies to cryogenic extreme temperatures (from 133 to 50 K or lower). Those technologies...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Downhole Regolith Interrogation with Helium-Assisted Drill and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

It is of great interest to the scientific community to have the ability to analyze drilled boreholes in situ on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. The goal of this work was to design and fabricate a Downhole Regolith Interrogation with...

Optical indexing wheels, sometimes called “filter wheels,” are used to locate various optics or filters in a beam path to change the observational mode. Large wheels a half-meter in size...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Web-Based Search Service to Support Imaging Spectrometer Instrument Operations

Imaging spectrometers yield rich and informative data products, but interpreting them demands time and expertise. There is a continual need for new algorithms and methods for rapid firstdraft analyses to assist analysts during instrument operations. Intelligent data...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Hermetic Phototube Housing

This innovation is a hermetically sealed case or very small chamber. A photomultiplier tube (PMT) is mounted inside the chamber. The circuit board is also installed inside the chamber with appropriate feedthroughs for signals. An adapter/floating mount called the phototube to light pipe system mount (PLPSM) allows the...

Briefs: Imaging
Design, Fabrication, and Test of WFIRST/AFTA GRISM Assembly

This work originated with the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST) slitless spectrometer design (GRISM assembly), which attempted to follow the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) method of employing a singleelement GRISM as a slitless spectroscope. However, WFIRST’s field of view...

Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Spinal Ultrasound Just-in-Time Training Tool

Back pain and injury are recognized risks that can affect the well-being and performance of crewmembers during missions, as well as their long-term health. Spine elongation is a documented effect of microgravity, back pain is a common occurrence in early flight, and the post-flight incidence of spinal...

Briefs: Imaging
Wide-Spectrum Organic Mass Spectrometer Using Far-Ultraviolet Ionization

Two-step laser desorption/photoionization mass spectrometry (L2MS) represents a powerful tool for the organic analysis of astromaterials. The technique has high sensitivity and requires little to no sample preparation.

Briefs: Imaging
Stereoscopic Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence Imaging for Time-Resolved 3D Movies in Hypersonic Flow

Understanding and predicting transition from laminar to turbulent flow in hypersonic boundary layers is an active and important field of research because transitional and turbulent heating can be four or more times higher than laminar heating on...

Briefs: Imaging
Modified-Wolter-Schwarzschild X-ray Telescope

X-ray survey missions require nested grazing incidence telescopes with a large field of view (1° or larger) and moderately high resolution across the field of view. This cannot be accomplished using flat focal plane detectors. The telescopes have excellent on-axis resolution, but unacceptable...

Briefs: Imaging
Machine Vision-Based Pose Estimation System

During on-orbit servicing of non-cooperative satellites, the relative position of the satellite with respect to the servicing vehicle is needed. Non-cooperative satellites do not have devices to assist the pose estimation (such as markers or reflector), so a system that uses the natural features of the...

Briefs: Imaging
Solar Doppler Shift-Based Solar Tracker

This solar tracker integrates a camera with a field of view (FOV) large enough to easily image the entire solar disc — co-boresited with a narrow-band spectrometer that measures the frequency of a Doppler shifted line — with an algorithm designed to drive zero Doppler shift rotation axis of the...

Taking measurements in a scramjet engine is particularly challenging because of the harsh testing environment. Any probe inserted in the flow would generate shock waves, strongly...

Briefs: Imaging
Image Processing Software Environment (QuIP)

The QuIP interpreter is a software environment for QUick Image Processing that features an interactive scripting language designed to facilitate use by non-expert users through features such as context-sensitive automatic response completion. The package includes a number of script packages that...

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...

Frequency combs derived from optical microresonators are required to reach an octave in span. This is required for self-referencing a comb. Presently, the frequency...

Briefs: Imaging
NASA Vision Workbench (VWB)

VWB is a modular, extensible computer vision framework that supports tasks including automated science and engineering analysis, large satellite image processing, and 2D/3D environment reconstruction. The framework provides a rapid C++ development environment as well as a flexible, multi-platform system to deploy...

Briefs: Imaging
Flight Proving a Heliophysics Soft X-Ray Imager

The interaction between the solar wind and the Earth’s magneto - sphere results in “space weather.” To determine the true nature of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction, scientists require global measurements of processes occurring at the bow shock, in the magnetosheath, and at the...

Briefs: Imaging
Intensity Interferometry Image Recovery

This software extends the well-known error-reduction Gerchberg-Saxton method to imaging of dark objects, assuming that such an object partially shadows a well-characterized thermal light source, while the shadow cannot be used for inferring the object’s shape. These assumptions are reasonable for a wide...

Briefs: Imaging
Cameras for All-Sky Meteor Surveillance (CAMS) Version 1.3

The CAMS system comprises a deployment of multiple narrow-field, low-light video cameras that completely covers the sky in a mosaic pattern from 30° elevation and above. Two or three such camera batteries separated by many kilometers allow for large atmospheric volume coverage, high...

Briefs: Imaging
Normalized Cross Correlation FPGA Implementation

A safe and precise landing system for Mars will match features seen in descent imagery against a map constructed from orbital imagery. The spacecraft attitude and altitude are known, but lateral position is known only poorly. From attitude and altitude, one can generate a mapping (homography) that...

Briefs: Imaging
Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis for Monitoring Hazards (ARIA-MH)

Space-based geodetic measurement techniques such as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and Continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) are now critical elements in the toolset for monitoring earthquake-generating faults, volcanic eruptions, landslides, glacial...

Briefs: Imaging
Next-Generation Integrated Camera (NIC)

Design and fabrication of a modern, compact, highly modular, and extreme-environment-capable replacement have been proposed for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) camera. This next-generation camera is based on a CMOS (complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor) imager rather than a CCD (charge-coupled device)...

Briefs: Imaging
Homography Warp Image FPGA Implementation

A landing system for Mars matches features seen in descent imagery against a map constructed from orbital imagery. The spacecraft attitude and altitude are known, but lateral position is known only poorly. From attitude and altitude, one can generate a mapping (homography) that allows the descent image...

Videos