Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ALHAT ensures safe landing for Morpheus

Date:
May 2, 2014
Source:
NASA
Summary:
Led by engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and supported by Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., ALHAT technology will provide planetary landers similar to Morpheus the ability to precisely and safely land on rugged surfaces by detecting dangerous hazards such as rocks, holes and slopes.

Technicians vent MORPHEUS prototype propellant lines after a successful free-flight test at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The vehicle, with its recently installed autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technology, or ALHAT, sensors surveyed the hazard field to determine safe landing.
Credit: NASA

Led by engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and supported by Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., ALHAT technology will provide planetary landers similar to Morpheus the ability to precisely and safely land on rugged surfaces by detecting dangerous hazards such as rocks, holes and slopes.

Related Articles


During the 94-second test, the Morpheus vehicle took off in a cloud of dust from its launch pad just off the Shuttle Landing Facility runway at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It ascended to 807 feet (nearly 246 meters) and then began its powered descent toward the ALHAT hazard field 1,327 feet (roughly 404 meters) downrange.

During descent, Morpheus flew a route similar to that of an actual lunar lander while actively making measurements with ALHAT's three Light Detecting and Ranging, or lidar, sensors: the flash lidar, Doppler lidar and high-altitude laser altimeter. Since all three sensors use lasers, they can provide measurements in all lighting conditions.

The first sensor, the flash lidar, created an elevation map of the hazard field to identify the location of rock piles and craters. The second sensor, the Doppler lidar, was used to provide Morpheus with range and velocity data of its position relative to the landing surface. Lastly, the high-altitude laser altimeter provided altitude measurements that helped the vehicle initially locate the surface and land safely.

"During the last free flight test, the ALHAT sensors provided some of the best measurements yet, and the vehicle landed at the location that the ALHAT Hazard Detection System selected, which was another first for the system," said Langley engineer Kevin Kempton.

Testing will resume in May, when ALHAT will forgo the help of Morpheus' navigation by using only the measurements of the sensors to land the vehicle on the hazard field.

"A successful demonstration will open the gate for ALHAT technologies to be used on the next set of lander missions," Kempton said.

The Advanced Exploration Systems Division of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate manages ALHAT and Morpheus. Advanced Exploration Systems pioneers new approaches for rapidly developing prototype systems, demonstrating key capabilities and validating operational concepts for future human missions beyond Earth orbit.


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. "ALHAT ensures safe landing for Morpheus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140502120725.htm>.
NASA. (2014, May 2). ALHAT ensures safe landing for Morpheus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140502120725.htm
NASA. "ALHAT ensures safe landing for Morpheus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140502120725.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) Imagine an elevator without cables. ThyssenKrupp has drafted an elevator concept that would cruise on linear magnetic motors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
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