I always preface these posts with, “I don’t talk about work, but…” In this case, what I wrote is for public consumption and is up on the web, so I figure it’s okay. My company works on ways to measure where one spacecraft is relative to another. We’re applying some of that technology to the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble’s dying, and needs repairs, but NASA’s leery about sending astronauts to it, since if something happens to the Shuttle, they’d be unable to reach the International Space Station. So the next mission to Hubble is likely to be the last one unless they can come up with a way for robots to do the repair job.
That’s where we come in. For a spacecraft to reach Hubble without a pilot at the stick, the onboard computer has to know where Hubble is. We’ve got a way to do that. Behold: using video to measure the Hubble’s position and orientation in orbit.
[tags]space, hubble space telescope, the things you can do with cameras these days[/tags]