10 months ago
The Morpheus/ALHAT team completed Free Flight 13 (FF13) at the KSC SLF on Thursday, May 22, 2014. This was Bravo's 11th and ALHAT's 4th free flight; the 1st with ALHAT running in closed-loop mode. For this test initial data indicated nominal performance of all Bravo systems, and of ALHAT Hazard Detection System (HDS), though not of the ALHAT navigation system. During flight, the ALHAT HDS scanned the Hazard Field and correctly identified a primary safe landing target within 0.5 m of the landing pad center, the best HDS safe site selection to date. As ALHAT navigated Bravo toward the selected landing target, the vehicle position calculated by ALHAT diverged from the "true" position calculated by Morpheus Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) until the error reached a trajectory corridor limit, at which point Bravo automatically reverted to Morpheus navigation for the remainder of the descent to the ALHAT landing target. Thus, FF13 successfully demonstrated ALHAT HDS performance and landing site selection (as in FF12), as well as the first in-flight down-mode from ALHAT to Morpheus navigation, but not yet complete ALHAT navigation to the landing site.
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