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Automatic Detection in Space

APPLICATIONS

What are the applications for 3D Flash LIDAR?

Situational awareness, collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, surveillance, restricted area event alerts, object identification, day-night-rain-fog imaging, aviation take-off and landing, lunar and planetary hazard avoidance and landing, automated rendezvous and docking in space, mid-air refueling, terrain mapping, autonomous navigation, smart intersection monitoring and control, unmanned ground vehicles, unmanned air systems and vehicles, machine vision, hazard material detection and handling and underwater 3D imaging.

Click on One of the Following Application Markets to Learn More:

SPACE | AUTOMOTIVE | SURVEILLANCE | AIRCRAFT | MILITARY | BROWNOUT


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3D Flash LIDAR for Navigation and Collision Avoidance

3D Flash LIDAR technology is critical to the unmanned vehicle community where 3D navigation and situational awareness must be performed in real-time from a moving vehicle. Figure 3 shows a single frame of a 3D movie taken from a car. Range and rate of other vehicles are determined from the data. ASC 3D is also working with an industrial partner supplying safety products to the automobile industry, in the areas of vehicle and pedestrian collision avoidance. These cameras will be directly applicable to landing and terrain mapping for military and commercial applications.


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3D Flash LIDAR for Identification and Tracking

3D Flash LIDAR provides a unique innovative solution for real-time object identification and tracking. Other systems do not provide adequate determination of trajectory or position or the 6 degree-of-freedom (DOF) data needed for proximity operations. The "framing camera" nature, of 3D Flash LIDAR cameras makes them ideal identification and tracking sensors.

ASC's 3D Flash LIDAR tracking sensor is essentially a 3D video camera configured with the appropriate optical system to provide the field-of-view (FOV) and range necessary for ID and tracking requirements. Configured with a 45-degree lens and a 2 mJ laser, the sensor will be capable of tracking the International Space Station (ISS) reflectors at ranges up to 5km. Figure 4 shows captured 3D data (a single pulse) of an airplane in flight demonstrating full four dimensional capture (x,y,z and time) and tracking capability of fast moving objects. 3D Flash LIDAR captures a full frame of data in a single laser pulse. The capture can be completed in nano-seconds. This means that regardless of the camera capture platform motion or the speed of the target object, the image will not blur. If propeller blades moving at the speed of sound can be imaged without blurring, imagine the accuracy achievable for slower moving objects.


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3D Flash LIDAR for High Speed Imaging and Tracking

Figure 6 shows captured 3D data of fast moving objects, and also illustrates full four dimensional capture (x,y,z and time) and tracking capability. While ASC's passive air-cooled TigerEye 3D Flash LIDAR camera operates at 20 Hz, higher speed cameras can be made available. Flash LIDAR captures a full frame of data in a single laser pulse. The capture can be completed in nanoseconds. This means that regardless of platform motion or the speed of the object, the image will not blur. Helicopter blades moving at the speed of sound can be imaged with no blurring.


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Other

3D Flash LIDAR is ideal for determining real-time spacecraft trajectory, speed and orientation to the planet surface, as well as evaluating potential hazards at the landing. Sloped ground, craters, rocks and surface composition are among the potential hazards. The "framing camera" nature of Flash LIDAR systems makes them well suited as hazard avoidance sensors for entry, descent and landing (EDL). Flash LIDAR can provide a direct, real-time measurement of the altitude of the spacecraft during descent as well as surface relative velocity and orientation, while simultaneously mapping the topography of the terrain below to identify landing hazards and provide localization information. This approach enables precision powered landing solutions increasing the trade space for the type of landed vehicles, as well enabling a greater diversity of landing sites. Flash LIDAR has been flown by NASA, as part of an EDL sensor evaluation for the ALHAT mission. Figure 7 shows the FLC mounted in a helicopter for NASA evaluation.

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