3-D imaging lidar gets a boost from NASA researchers - Will help accurately guide future spacecraft

11/05/2014 - 13:16

Lori Keesey

Building, fixing, and refueling space-based assets or rendezvousing with a comet or asteroid will require a robotic vehicle and a super-precise, high-resolution 3-D imaging lidar that will generate real-time images needed to guide the vehicle to a target traveling at thousands of miles per hour. A team of technologists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, now is developing a next-generation 3-D scanning lidar—dubbed the Goddard Reconfiguable Solid-state Scanning Lidar (GRSSLi)—that could provide the imagery needed to execute these orbital dances. "We have made a tremendous amount of progress," said Nat Gill, GRSSLi principal investigator at Goddard. "We have a long way to go, but we hope to validate the GRSSLi system this fall."