Parachute Testing

parachute test

Donn Liddle of the Image Science and Analysis Laboratory was featured in NASA’s “Image of the Day” gallery doing what he does best, the art and science of 3-D photogrammetry. Donn was working with members of JPL to conduct wind-tunnel tests at Texas A&M on a scaled, prototype parachute system for the Orion spacecraft.

A controlled laboratory setting like in this wind tunnel is ideal for using imagery from multiple cameras to compute 3-D configurations and motions using photogrammetry. So for Donn, these parachute analyses are a piece of cake, relatively speaking. In the early days of International Space Station assembly, Donn pioneered the applications of 3-D photogrammetry in the much more problematic and less-than-controlled settings in space. Since then, Donn has led a photogrammetry team that has performed countless analyses for the ISS, Space Shuttle, and now the Orion spacecraft, each analysis contributing significantly to mission success – and each analysis presenting new challenges to the applications of their trade.

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