Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mighty Eagle -- NASA's robotic prototype lander -- gets a new view

Date:
May 30, 2013
Source:
NASA
Summary:
The Mighty Eagle, NASA's robotic prototype lander managed out of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, recently completed a test series to monitor its systems functionality after coming out of winter storage. This latest series included a test flight that was recorded by the Quad-Copter -- a small vehicle also developed at Marshall that was equipped with a video camera allowing for never-before-seen footage of the Mighty Eagle.

The Mighty Eagle takes flight with the entire demonstration recorded by the Quad-Copter.
Credit: NASA/Todd Freestone

The Mighty Eagle, NASA"s robotic prototype lander managed out of NASA"s Marshall Space Flight Center, recently completed a test series to monitor its systems functionality after coming out of winter storage. This latest series included a test flight that was recorded by the Quad-Copter -- a small vehicle also developed at Marshall that was equipped with a video camera allowing for never-before-seen footage of the Mighty Eagle.

Related Articles


The Mighty Eagle, nicknamed after one of the characters in the popular Angry Birds game, is a three-legged prototype vehicle. It is 4 feet tall, 8 feet in diameter and weighs about 700 pounds when fueled. It is a green vehicle, fueled by 90 percent pure hydrogen peroxide, and is guided by an onboard computer that activates the thrusters to power the craft's movements.

"We were approached by the Mighty Eagle team to film the vehicle in flight, and we thought it would be a great collaboration," said Garrick Merrill, a member of the Aero-M team and a computer engineer in the Space Systems Department at Marshall. "It gave us an opportunity to test the copter in a flight situation, and we were really pleased with the results. It really was a win-win situation for both teams -- giving us both important data we can use on future flights."

The Quad-Copter is an achievement in itself. The vehicle was designed and built by the Aero-M team at Marshall as part of the 2012 Unmanned Aerial Systems, or UAS, competition between various NASA centers. The Marshall team was made up of young engineers from across the center who were tasked with designing a vehicle that could perform an autonomous search and rescue mission to locate people after a small plane crash. The Quad-Copter is built with off-the-shelf, hobbyist-grade parts and uses an open-source flight computer. The initial design of the vehicle uses a two-megapixel IP camera, but for the Mighty Eagle flights the IP camera was removed and a GoPro video camera was attached to provide high-definition video.

"Working with the Aero-M team has been great," said Jason Adam, flight manager for the Mighty Eagle. "The data we have been able to get from seeing the flight in a way we"ve not before will be really helpful as we prepare for future flights."

Those future flights include a new test series for the Mighty Eagle in July that will be demonstrating a system fitted on the vehicle for optical hazard avoidance. Roughly 200 tons of dirt from a quarry in the western United States will be brought in by rail to simulate a celestial body. The vehicle will then work through a series of tests to demonstrate the new system"s ability to detect hazards that could cause damage to the vehicle during an actual lunar landing situation. The data will be used to develop hazard avoidance systems for potential future small robotic missions. The Mighty Eagle team intends to collaborate with the Quad-Copter team for a similar flight in July.

The "Mighty Eagle" lander was developed by the Marshall Center and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., for NASA Headquarters' Planetary Sciences Division, Science Mission Directorate. Key partners in this project include the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation, which includes the Science Applications International Corporation, Dynetics Corp., and Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc., all of Huntsville.

NASA will use the Mighty Eagle and its larger counterpart, the Project Morpheus prototype lander -- being tested at NASA's Johnson Space Center -- to mature the technology needed to develop a new generation of small, smart, versatile robotic landers capable of achieving scientific and exploration goals on the surface of planetary bodies.

For more information on NASA's robotic landers, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/lunarquest/robotic/index.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Mighty Eagle -- NASA's robotic prototype lander -- gets a new view." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530101244.htm>.
NASA. (2013, May 30). Mighty Eagle -- NASA's robotic prototype lander -- gets a new view. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530101244.htm
NASA. "Mighty Eagle -- NASA's robotic prototype lander -- gets a new view." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530101244.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Lowe’s is testing out what it’s describing as a robotic shopping assistant in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores in California. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins