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Autonomous Docking with the Laser Dynamic Range Imager Optical Sensor

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
American GNC Corporation
CA Simi Valley, CA 93065-1812
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Autonomous Docking with the Laser Dynamic Range Imager Optical Sensor
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $599,830.00


This Phase I proposal develops a novel technology to automate the process of docking the Shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS). This technology is based on the Laser Dynamic Range Imager (LDRI) and a cross-plane point tracking algorithm. The LDRI provides the range measurement from the laser unit to the field of view for far or near inspection distances. The LDRI is a dynamic adaptation of the Scannerless Range Imager (SRI) technology developed for the USAF by DOE/Sandia National Laboratories. The Point Tracking (PT) software package is an improvement of the tracker algorithm initially proposed at Langley Research Center and later developed at Johnson Space Center. The advantage of this technology over the conventional photogrammetric methods resides in the feasibility in obtaining, simultaneously, the 3-D motion of multiple points without the necessity of using multiple cameras. Other advantages of this technology are the improvement in the resolution of the position of a point and the elimination of special illuminating conditions in the scene. This proposal will provide a software package for automated docking. Commercial applications exist in flight vehicle docking, in automated navigation, in flight refueling, precision materials fabrication, collision avoidance and collision analysis.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. 1. Pecina
Senior Research Scientist

Business Contact:

Frank Bauerle
Director of Contracts
Small Business Information at Submission:

American GNC Corporation
9131 Mason Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No