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.

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 July 23, 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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