NASA Funding Flash Lidar Research - 16/08/2017

NASA has announced the latest recipients from its Small Business Technology Transfer program, which functions as a R&D program for the agency. This year, 19 small research projects received up to $125,000 each, with the promise of up to $725,000 if the projects survive to a second phase.

The list includes such projects as a cardboard droneimproved image processing for landers and rovers, and multispectral imaging. The big project comes from a research company named Fibertek, who are angling to build a FLASH Lidar that will be “an innovative synthesis of key technologies that results in a >3x reduction in the size and >2x increase in the efficiency” of the Lidar sensor used for NASA’s current autonomous landing systems.

These key technologies start with 3D printing to build a lighter weight mechanical structure. On top of that, they plan on using a ring resonator that achieves a large fundamental node.

Proposed uses of this sensor include collecting real-time imaging data for landing, rendezvous, satellite servicing, and proximity applications on future “robotic missions to the Moon and Mars.”

Check here for more details on the recipients and here for more details about Fibertek’s lidar.

Last updated: 23/01/2020