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ALHAT: When are ALHAT activities planned, and How are they broken down? What's next?
07.07.2009 2:05 PM
Erik Bailey

By Erik Bailey
Guidance and Control Systems Engineering

When are ALHAT activities planned?
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Between 2007 and 2012, the goal is to develop the sensors and algorithms to TRL-6 (Wikipedia Entry on TRL). This means demonstrating the system using hardware via field testing, not solely simulation.

How will ALHAT be executed?
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Algorithms, Hardware, and testing techniques are all developed and coordinated to meet a one-field-test-per-year plan. Thus far, we have executed:

FT1 (2008): Collection of imaging LIDAR and passive optical camera data to demonstrate sensing of hazards from low altitudes
FT2 (2008): Collection of Doppler Laser Altimeter and passive optical camera data to demosntrate highly accurate ground-relative velocity
FT3 (2009): Colelction of passive optical camera, imaging LIDAR, and Laser Altimeter data to demonstrate Terrain-relative navigation using a variety of algorithms.

and we will execute:

FT4 (2010): Closed-loop navigation and articulated pointing of imaging LIDAR data to demonstrate HDA and HRN mosaic generation and point tracking for post-test algorithm analysis
FT5 (2011): Follow-on to FT4.
FT6 (2012): Follow-on to FT5.

The tests culminate in the demonstration of on-board ALHAT functionality, including Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA), Hazard-Relative Navigation (HRN), and Terrain-Relative Navigation (TRN).

FT4 will be the next big field campaign, and the team is actively developing the components that will be used in it: Specifically, the ALHAT Derived Navigation Filter (ADNF), the real-time embedded computing platform (APB), and the gimbal software and hardware for steering the LIDAR to perform the mosaics and hazard tracking illustrated on the ALHAT website.

As I am the technical lead for pulling all the components of FT4 together, you'll be seeing more about that in detail in future postings.


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