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Technology Factsheet

DragonEye 3D Flash LIDAR

Category: Robotics > Characterization and Inspection > Sensor
Reference # : Model No :

The DragonEye Space Camera is a lightweight, small form-factor (11.2 x 11.9 x 12.2 cm) integrated 3D FLC, capable of capturing a full array of 128x128 independently triggered pixels per each frame up to 10 frames per second, allowing 16,300 3D range data and intensity points to be generated as 3D point cloud images or video streams in real-time.

Site: *
Size:Tiny (<1kg/2lb, <10cm/4in useable length)
TRL:Operational (9)
TRL2: *
Tether: *
Waterproof: *
Payload: *
Reach: *
Manipulator: *




Designed for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) applications and working with Space Exploration Corporation, the DragonEye is the right sensor for Automated Rendezvous and Docking (AR&D) with the International Space Station and On-orbit Satellite Servicing. The DragonEye has been tested on NASA’s STS-127 (Endeavour Obiter) and is mounted currently on the STS-133 (Discovery) for a round of pre-deployment tests. This is the same 3D camera sensor engine being used by NASA Langley Research Center as the core 3D Flash LIDAR sensor engine for the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance (ALHAT) efforts.

3D cameras are eye-safe Flash laser radar (3D Flash LIDAR) camera systems that operate much like 2D digital cameras, but measure the range to all objects in its field of view (the “scene”) with a single “flash” laser pulse (per frame). The technology can be used in full sunlight or the darkness of night. 2D Video cameras are able to capture video streams that are measured in frames per second (fps), typically between 1 and 30 fps with 1, 5, 15 and 30 being most common. The dynamic frame capture paradigm holds true for the 3D Flash LIDAR Camera (3D FLC) as well with 1 to 30 fps (or faster if required) being possible. There are some cooling design constraints when designing the laser system for the higher fps capture rates to ensure the laser has adequate cooling operating margins.

Operational Experience:



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