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Proceedings Paper

Short- and medium-range 3D sensing for space applications
Author(s): J. Angelo Beraldin; Francois Blais; Marc Rioux; Luc Cournoyer; Denis G. Laurin; Steve G. MacLean
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Paper Abstract

This paper focuses on the characteristics and performance of a laser range scanner (LARS) with short and medium range 3D sensing capabilities for space applications. This versatile laser range scanner is a precision measurement tool intended to complement the current Canadian Space Vision System (CSVS). Together, these vision systems are intended to be used during the construction of the International Space Station (ISS). Integration of the LARS to the CSVS will allow 3D surveying of a robotic work-site, identification of known objects from registered range and intensity images, and object detection and tracking relative to the orbiter and ISS. The data supplied by the improved CSVS will be invaluable in Orbiter rendez-vous and in assisting the Orbiter/ISS Remote Manipulator System operators. The major advantages of the LARS over conventional video-based imaging are its ability to operate with sunlight shining directly into the scanner and its immunity to spurious reflections and shadows which occur frequently in space. Because the LARS is equipped with two high-speed galvanometers to steer the laser beam, any spatial location within the field of view of the camera can be addressed. This level of versatility enables the LARS to operate in two basic scan pattern modes: (1) variable scan resolution mode and (2) raster scan mode. In the variable resolution mode, the LARS can search and track targets and geometrical features on objects located within a field of view of 30 degrees X 30 degrees and with corresponding range from about 0.5 m to 2000 m. This flexibility allows implementations of practical search and track strategies based on the use of Lissajous patterns for multiple targets. The tracking mode can reach a refresh rate of up to 137 Hz. The raster mode is used primarily for the measurement of registered range and intensity information of large stationary objects. It allows among other things: target-based measurements, feature-based measurements, and, image-based measurements like differential inspection in 3D space and surface reflectance monitoring. The digitizing and modeling of human subjects, cargo payloads, and environments are also possible with the LARS. A number of examples illustrating the many capabilities of the LARS are presented in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 1997
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 3074, Visual Information Processing VI, (22 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.280635
Show Author Affiliations
J. Angelo Beraldin, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Francois Blais, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Marc Rioux, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Luc Cournoyer, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Denis G. Laurin, Canadian Space Agency (Canada)
Steve G. MacLean, Canadian Space Agency (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3074:
Visual Information Processing VI
Stephen K. Park; Richard D. Juday, Editor(s)

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