Flash3D EDL Sensor Technology Advancement
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Advanced Scientific Concepts, Inc.
135 Ortega Street, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101-1674
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractAdvanced Scientific Concepts Inc. (ASC) is a small business, which has developed a number of 3D flash LADAR systems. Flash Ladar sensors are 3D video systems that return range and intensity information for each pixel in real time, and is functionally equivalent to 16000 range finders on one chip. Actual data collected, at the JPL mars yard, using ASC's compact Flash Ladar system demonstrated in a previous NASA phase I SBIR effort confirm that the ASC Flash LADAR Video Camera (FLVC) system can meet the requirements for Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL). The FLVC's small size, low power and very fast range data frame rate (30Hz) make the sensor ideal for EDL missions. Flash Ladar is ideal for determining real-time spacecraft trajectory, speed, orientation, and range to the planet surface, as well as evaluating potential hazards at the landing site. Sloped ground, craters, rocks and surface composition are among the potential hazards. The "framing camera" nature, of Flash LADAR systems, makes them well suited as hazard avoidance sensors for EDL. An existing Phase two effort is fabricating a compact FLVC for delivery to NASA for field testing, however the system is not hardened. A proposed Phase 2 effort would produce a space qualified sensor engine which can be integrated with the system being delivered to NASA. The sensor engine is the break-though enabling technology for the FLVC. This proposed effort will develop techniques to improve the sensors measurement accuracy. ASC will develop improved calibration techniques, improved sensor non-uniformity and improved on-board real time automatic range correction. This will target range resolutions of better than 1cm and range absolute accuracy better than 3cm. The Phase 2 effort would deliver to NASA a commercial based system with the enhancements developed during Phase 1
* information listed above is at the time of submission.