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.