Global shutter flash LIDAR is the sensor of choice for space-based autonomous relative navigation applications. Advanced Scientific Concepts (ASC) has recently delivered LIDAR cameras to the NASA / Lockheed- Martin OSIRSRex and the NASA / Boeing CST-100 Starliner programs. These are two of the first operational space programs to use global shutter, flash LIDAR based relative navigation systems. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was launched in September 2016 and is the first opportunity to understand how global shutter flash LIDAR performance and reliability is impacted by long term exposure to the deep space environment.
Future planetary and lunar landers can benefit from a hazard detection (HD) system that employs a lidar to create a highresolution
3D terrain map in the vicinity of the landing site and an onboard computer to process the lidar data and
identify the safest landing site within the surveyed area. A divert maneuver would then be executed to land in this safe
site. An HD system enables landing in regions with a relatively high hazard abundance that would otherwise be
considered unacceptably risky, but are of high interest to the scientific community. A key component of a HD system is
a lidar with the ability to generate a 3D terrain image with the required range precision in the prescribed time and fits
within the project resource constraints. In this paper, we present the results obtained during performance testing of a
prototype "GoldenEye" 3D flash lidar developed by ASC, Inc. The testing was performed at JPL with the lidar and the
targets separated by 200 m. The analysis of the lidar performance obtained for different target types and albedos, pulse
energies, and fields of view is presented and compared to key HD lidar requirements identified for the Mars 2018 lander.
Integration of active optical components typically serves five goals: enhanced performance, smaller space, lower power dissipation, higher reliability, and lower cost. We are manufacturing widely tunable laser diodes with an integrated high speed electro absorption modulator for metro and all-optical switching applications. The monolithic integration combines the functions of high power laser light generation, wavelength tuning over the entire C-band, and high speed signal modulation in a single chip. The laser section of the chip contains two sampled grating DBRs with a gain and a phase section between them. The emission wavelength is tuned by current injection into the waveguide layers of the DBR and phase sections. The laser light passes through an integrated optical amplifier before reaching the modulator section on the chip. The amplifier boosts the cw output power of
the laser and provides a convenient way of power leveling. The modulator is based on the Franz-Keldysh effect for a wide band of operation. The common waveguide through all sections minimizes optical coupling losses. The packaging of the monolithically integrated chip is much simpler compared to
a discrete or hybrid solution using a laser chip, an SOA, and an external modulator. Since only one optical fiber coupling is required, the overall packaging cost of the transmitter module is largely reduced. Error free transmission at 2.5Gbit/s over 200km of standard single mode fiber is obtained with less than 1dB of dispersion penalty.