SpaceX DragonEye Sensor Completes NASA COTS Demonstration
[Satellite TODAY 09-25-09] SpaceX demonstrated its DragonEye proximity sensor to be used on NASA’s STS-127 shuttle mission, the launch company announced Sept. 25.
DragonEye was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour July 15 and was tested in proximity of the International Space Station (ISS) in preparation for future visits by SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft.
The sensor, which uses Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), provides three-dimensional images based on the amount of time it takes for a single laser pulse from the sensor to the reach a target and bounce back, providing range and bearing information from the Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. The sensor has already completed flight system trials.
SpaceX will debut DragonEye on the final flight of the Dragon spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, where the spacecraft will demonstrate the ability to berth with the ISS.
The Dragon spacecraft is under contract with NASA to provide cargo resupply to the ISS when the Space Shuttle retires. This contract includes 12 flights between 2010 and 2015.
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SpaceX Delivers COTS UHF Communication Unit to NASA Satellite Today September 2, 2009
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Clears Human Safety, Ground Wind Testing Satellite Today July 30, 2009
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