Morpheus Uses Hazard Detection System to Land Safely in Dark [2014-05-29]
During testing, Morpheus -- an unmanned spacecraft capable of carrying 1,100 pounds (499 kg) of cargo -- powered its way up to more than 800 feet (244 m) into the dark Florida sky at NASA's Kennedy Space Center using solely ALHAT's Hazard Detection System for guidance.
The Hazard Detection System, assisted by three light detection and ranging (lidar) sensors, located obstacles -- such as rocks and craters -- and safely landed on the lunar-like hazard field a quarter mile away from the NASA Center.
"The team has been striving for almost eight years to reach this point of testing the ALHAT system in a relevant space-flight-like environment on Morpheus," said Eric Roback, ALHAT flash lidar lead engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
During testin... more>