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LiDAR Technique Could Help Robotic Vehicles Land Safely on Mars

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The planet Mars, as seen from orbit.

The researchers tested the new technique using a hazard field placed under a moving platform at the NASA Langley Research Center gantry facility.

Credit: ISRO/ISSDC/Justin Cowart

Researchers at the NASA Langley Research Center have developed a LiDAR technique to improve the safety of robotic vehicle landings during future Mars or lunar missions.

Typically, flash LiDAR requires a large mechanical gimbal to scan the target landing area and stitch together individual LiDAR images to identify hazardous terrain features when choosing the safest landing location.

To eliminate the need for a scanning gimbal and prevent motion blur, the researchers developed a super-resolution algorithm that broadens the LiDAR field of view, takes images of the same scene from various positions and angles, and computationally combines the images to generate a high-resolution view.

The algorithm's image resolution was found to be 25 times greater than flash LiDAR alone.

From Optica
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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