Demonstration of the ALHAT system on the Morpheus vehicle was completed on the 8th of December. The test was almost perfect. I say almost because one of the ALHAT sensors, the long range laser altimeter, did not collect continuous signals the entire flight, however once the signals came in, they were critical for the mission. The NASA Langley Research Center's Flash Lidar, which generates 3-D images or "point clouds" of the landing terrain performed flawlessly, sending the images to JPL's Hazard Detection System which successfully identified all five safe landing sites on an otherwise hazardous field, full of rocks and craters. And last but not least, the Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL) performed perfectly, providing range and precision velocity vectors to the ALHAT navigation computer. You can see the entire flight here.
CAI's contributions to the ALHAT system include the design and development of the laser altimeter and the NDL, both built at NASA Langley for ALHAT. In addition, CAI was instrumental in the test configuration of the Flash Lidar.
It was a real privilage to have worked with such brilliant and hard working people on the ALHAT project and Morpheus. Most of all, CAI is very greatful to the Project Manager of ALHAT, Dr. Chirold Epp for his leadership and vision. Dr. Epp retires from NASA after taking the project from concept to a successfull autonomous landing demonstration on Morpheus. Thank you Chirold, and congratulations on your retirement!