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NASA, Partners Develop ‘Lunar Backpack’ Technology to Aid New Moon Explorers


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Imagine a mountaineering expedition in a wholly uncharted environment, where the hikers had the ability to generate a real-time 3D map of the terrain. NASA researchers and their industry partners have developed a remote-sensing mapping system set to aid explorers in the most isolated wilderness imaginable: the airless wastes at the South Pole of the Moon.

The Kinematic Navigation and Cartography Knapsack (KNaCK) is a mobile lidar scanner – a remote sensing method that uses light detection and ranging laser light to measure range. Donned like a hiker’s backpack, it makes use of an innovative type of lidar called frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar in order to provide Doppler velocity and range for millions of measurement points per second. These measurement points instantly create a real-time navigation system, delivering to the explorer a 3D “point cloud” or high-resolution map of the surrounding terrain.

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/releases/2022/nasa-partners-develop-lunar-backpack-technology-to-aid-new-moon-explorers.html

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