The CoOperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technologies (COBALT) instrument is a terrestrial test platform for development and maturation of guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) technologies for precision landing. The project is developing a third-generation Langley Research Center (LaRC) navigation Doppler lidar (NDL) for ultra-precise velocity and range measurements, which will be integrated and tested with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lander vision system (LVS) for terrain relative navigation (TRN) position estimates. These technologies together provide precise navigation know ledge that is critical for a controlled and precise touchdown.More »
The COBALT project will mature precision-landing GN&C technologies for infusion into near-term robotic science and future human exploration missions. The NDL is a prime candidate sensor for Mars, moon or other planetary missions because of the high resolution velocity and range measurements. One of the key deliverables of the COBALT project is to mature NDL technology in preparation for the development of a space-qualified unit. In addition to the hardware, the COBALT navigation algorithms for blending and flight testing LVS TRN and NDL together provide a compelling new solution for future precise landing missions.
The third-generation NDL provides both velocity and range measurements. The sensor hardware consists of a custom optical head and electronics box. The electronics includes a seed laser, fiber amplifier, synthesizer, wide-band receiver and a NASA-developed command and data hand ling (C&DH) board. The NDL is de signed for a velocity envelope of 200 m/s per telescope line-of-site (LOS), and an LOS range of 4+ km. The NDL will achieve TRL6 in 2019 and could be in fused on-board a robotic moon or Mars lander mission in the 2020s.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|NASA Headquarters (HQ)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Washington, DC|
|Masten Space Systems, Inc||Industry||Mojave, CA|