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Proceedings Paper

Shuttle TPS inspection using triangulation scanning technology
Author(s): Adam Deslauriers; Ian Showalter; Andrew Montpool; Ross Taylor; Iain Christie
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Paper Abstract

With the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, there has been intense focus at NASA on being able to detect and characterize damage that may have been sustained by the orbiter during the launch phase. To help perform this task, the Neptec Laser Camera System (LCS) has been selected as one of the sensors to be mounted at the end of a boom extension to the Shuttle Robotic Manipulator System (SRMS). A key factor in NASA’s selection of the LCS was its successful performance during flight STS-105 as a Detailed Test Objective (DTO). The LCS is based on a patented designed which has been exclusively licensed to Neptec for space applications. The boom will be used to position the sensor package to inspect critical areas of the Shuttle’s Thermal Protection System (TPS). The operational scenarios under which the LCS will be used have required solutions to problems not often encountered in 3D sensing systems. For example, under many of the operational scenarios, the scanner will encounter both commanded and uncommanded motion during the acquisition of data. In addition, various ongoing studies are refining the definition of what constitutes a critical breach of the TPS. Each type of damage presents new challenges for robust detection. This paper explores these challenges with a focus on the operational solutions which address them.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5798, Spaceborne Sensors II, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.603692
Show Author Affiliations
Adam Deslauriers, Neptec Design Group (Canada)
Ian Showalter, Neptec Design Group (Canada)
Andrew Montpool, Neptec International (United States)
Ross Taylor, Neptec International (United States)
Iain Christie, Neptec Design Group (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5798:
Spaceborne Sensors II
Peter Tchoryk; Brian Holz, Editor(s)

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