Sensor Test for Orion RelNav Risk Mitigation
STS-134 crew at Ball Aerospace in June 2010 for training on the STORRM system
STORRM is a next generation docking camera and navigation system that was demonstrated aboard the STS-134 mission to the International Space Station in 2011. STORRM’s on-orbit testing validated its new relative navigation sensor, which is based on advanced laser and detector technology, to make docking and undocking to the International Space Station and other spacecraft easier and safer.
This innovative technology development effort is led by NASA’s Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Project Office at NASA Johnson Space Center in partnership with NASA Langley Research Center, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, and Ball Aerospace.
Ball Aerospace designed and built the Vision Navigation Sensor (VNS) and the high definition Docking Camera, which are two key components of the STORRM system.
The VNS provides game-changing innovation by using eye-safe flash lidar (light detection and ranging) to image a target and calculate with precise accuracies for range, bearing, alignment, and orientation data. The docking camera provides high-resolution color imagery. Working together, these sensors provide real-time three-dimensional images with a resolution 16 times higher than previous space shuttle sensors and were originally designed to support Orion rendezvous and dockings.
Astronauts aboard the STS-134 mission successfully completed on-orbit test and verification of the STORRM system to demonstrate a robust relative navigation design that provides the required docking accuracy. It also provided the range capability necessary to meet crew safety, mass, volume and power requirements for a wide variety of future NASA missions, including those into deep space.
The sensing technology demonstrated may also be used for Earth-bound applications such as climate and environmental observations, robotic maneuvering, topographical surveillance, and hazard avoidance systems for cars or aircraft.