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Center Innovation Fund: ARC CIF

Development of the NASA Ames Imaging Module

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Development of the NASA Ames Imaging Module

The Ames Imagaing Module is a low-cost, rugged, radiation-tolerant-by-design imaging system meant ofr nano- and micro-sats.

Imaging is arguably one of the most pervasive sensing measurements required by both orbital satellites and landed space-borne platforms.  The advancement of CMOS and embedded technologies in the last decade, particularly visible in the capability improvements of cell phone cameras, enable high quality imaging in extremely small, power efficient packages.  Despite the near ubiquity of camera systems on flight projects (ranging from cubesats and small sat missions like LCROSS, to larger Discovery-class missions and landers), these systems are by and large limited to either one-off instrument development efforts or adapted commercial products. 

Proposed here is the development of the Ames Imaging Module (AIM).  The AIM concept is to design a small and robust open source camera module that is adaptable to multiple mission platforms and is easy to implement in flight designs in an essentially off-the-shelf capacity.  This concept is highly aligned with Ames’ role as a leader in small satellites and area of ingenuity in low-cost missions.

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