Space Vision System
Developed for the Shuttle program, Neptec’s Space Vision System is used to provide real-time, precise visual and numerical alignment and positioning cues to the Space Shuttle and International Space Station crews when installing new modules of the space station.
Over the years, Neptec has developed three versions of the SVS for NASA and has seen the SVS software through 12 formal software upgrades, and operationally supported over 20 missions.
Laser Camera System
The Laser Camera System (LCS) is a high-precision auto synchronous triangulation 3D laser scanner designed to perform on-orbit inspection of the Space Shuttle. It was a mandatory sensor for every Shuttle mission and was used to inspect the heat shield of the Space Shuttle to ensure safe re-entry.
Autonomous Rendezvous & Docking – TriDAR
TriDAR is Neptec’s innovative space-qualified Autonomous Rendezvous & Docking sensor. It provides autonomous real-time tracking and pose estimation of a target without the need for any “reflectors” at ranges between 0.5m and 2km without sacrificing speed or precision at either end of the range. The system has flown repeatedly on the Space Shuttle and is being deployed on the unmanned Cygnus spacecraft under development by Orbital Sciences Crop. to resupply the International Space Station. The technology can be adapted to other applications such as in-flight aircraft refuelling or subsea underwater docking and robotics applications.
Neptec is the team lead for the design and development of the NRT Rover. The NRT Rover is a concept lunar rover vehicle being developed in conjunction with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). With plans to explore the moon, the NRT Rover will be capable of a variety of functions including exploration, mapping of the lunar surface, drilling for water, excavation, preparation of landing sites for lunar landers and transporting astronauts to their lunar bases.
LUCIE (Laser Underwater Camera Image Enhancer) uses proprietary pulsed laser radar technology (LIDAR) for underwater inspection, intervention, repair and maintenance. LUCIE uses a unique approach to subsea imaging. Rather than using floodlights to attempt to overpower the turbidity, LUCIE uses a pulsed laser radar as an illumination source. LUCIE’s camera shutter is closed when the light pulse is emitted, and is only opened for a brief period after waiting for the pulse to travel from the sensor to the object and back. Any light that is reflected off the suspended particles in the water is completely ignored by the camera, thereby increasing visibility by a factor of 3 to 5 times. The sensor can be configured to be hand-held by a diver, mounted on a hard diving suit, or attached to an ROV.
3D Imaging using Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) was originally developed for detecting landmines buried in underwater sediments. EIT uses an array of electrodes to measure the ground electrical conductivity and create a 3D image beneath the subsea floor of local perturbations. The technology can be adapted for underwater survey applications to detect boulders buried underneath the seafloor to improve productivity during deep trenching operations for laying subsea pipelines, flow lines and umbilicals.
The Neptec Laser Metrology System (LMS) is a high-resolution 3D laser scanner developed for non-contract dimensional verification in the manufacturing industry. Its patent-pending design incorporates a fully steerable laser beam, enabling the user to easily program any random scan pattern to selectively scan only specific areas of interest for the part being inspected, and at the desired accuracy and scan density. This significantly reduces overall inspection time without sacrificing accuracy to improve productivity, while also minimizing the amount of 3D data that must be captured, processed and stored.