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Proceedings Paper

A long-distance laser altimeter for terrain relative navigation and spacecraft landing
Author(s): Diego F. Pierrottet; Farzin Amzajerdian; Bruce Barnes
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Paper Abstract

A high precision laser altimeter was developed under the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance (ALHAT) project at NASA Langley Research Center. The laser altimeter provides slant-path range measurements from operational ranges exceeding 30 km that will be used to support surface-relative state estimation and navigation during planetary descent and precision landing. The altimeter uses an advanced time-of-arrival receiver, which produces multiple signal-return range measurements from tens of kilometers with 5 cm precision. The transmitter is eye-safe, simplifying operations and testing on earth. The prototype is fully autonomous, and able to withstand the thermal and mechanical stresses experienced during test flights conducted aboard helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and Morpheus, a terrestrial rocket-powered vehicle developed by NASA Johnson Space Center. This paper provides an overview of the sensor and presents results obtained during recent field experiments including a helicopter flight test conducted in December 2012 and Morpheus flight tests conducted during March of 2014.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9080, Laser Radar Technology and Applications XIX; and Atmospheric Propagation XI, 908005 (9 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2050481
Show Author Affiliations
Diego F. Pierrottet, Coherent Applications, Inc. (United States)
Farzin Amzajerdian, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Bruce Barnes, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9080:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications XIX; and Atmospheric Propagation XI
Monte D. Turner; Linda M. Wasiczko Thomas; Gary W. Kamerman; Earl J. Spillar, Editor(s)

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