An S-64 heavy-lift helicopter operated by Erickson Air-Crane carried the ALHAT lidar equipment during recent flight tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. (NASA photo / Tony Landis)
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center recently hosted flight tests of a lidar sensors suite developed by NASA's Langley Research Center, and terrain sensing and recognition unit and lidar pointing controller being developed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory under the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology, or ALHAT, project. Other components under test were a navigation filter and a human systems interface under development at Draper Lab and NASA Johnson. An Erickson Air-Crane, Inc. helicopter carrying the ALHAT lidar equipment flew over a varied obstacle course set up on Rogers Dry Lake adjacent to NASA Dryden at Edwards Air Force Base to test the sensor's ability to distinguish the various materials, sizes, shapes and colors while providing precision vehicle velocity and position. The sensor is being developed to help assure safe landings of future manned and robotic spacecraft on extraterrestrial bodies.
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