Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology [2012-12-21]
Autonomous is nearly a household word. We hear about autonomous cars, military drones and robots. But what about spacecraft?
NASA is working on that -- technology to autonomously land a spacecraft on Moon, Mars or even an asteroid. It's called the Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology, or ALHAT.
ALHAT gives a landing craft the ability to detect and avoid obstacles such as craters, rocks and slopes and land safely and precisely on a surface. The project is led by Johnson Space Center (JSC) and supported by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Langley Research Center.
To ensure its design capabilities, the ALHAT instrumentation was put on a NASA Huey helicopter followed by a completion of 12 flight tests - starting at Langley and finishing at Kennedy Space Center... more>