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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Flash 3D Rendezvous and Docking Sensor, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Flash 3D Rendezvous and Docking Sensor, Phase II
With NASA's exploration initiative to return to Lunar Exploration and eventual human exploration of Mars, NASA has an increased need for an Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking (AR&D) solution. First generation rendezvous sensors used video guidance and required extensive human intervention and ground control. Data latency in these systems is problematic and has uncovered the need for an autonomous rendezvous and docking system. Scanning Ladar and stereo video have significant shortcoming and have not proven they can provide a solution to reduce the reliance on human interaction during proximity operations. ASC's Flash Ladar video cameras can provide the 6 Degree-of-freedom data in real time, not available in any other video system. Advanced Scientific Concepts Inc. (ASC) is a small business that has developed a number of 3D flash LADAR systems. Flash Ladar Video Cameras (FLVC) are 3D vision systems that return range and intensity information for each pixel in real time. The ASC camera with its 128x128 3D array is the equivalent of 16000 range finders on one chip. This allows the sensor to act as a 3D video camera with functionality well beyond just range finding. Its small size, low power and fast range data frame rate (30Hz) allows the sensor to be configured for a variety of rendezvous and proximity missions. More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.