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Terrain-Relative Navigation and Employee Development (TRaiNED)

Mission Concept: TrainED concept

  • Bring autonomous terrain-relative navigation (TRN) and hazard detection (HD) technology to TRL7
  • Greatly improve targeting accuracy and hazard avoidance for robotic landers, aerial navigation, near-surface hover control for small bodies, and surface rover navigation
  • Enable exploring many high-value landing sites on many key solar system bodies
  • During a sounding rocket flight we will capture:
    • Exo-atmospheric imagery
    • Low-altitude imagery
    • Imagery-correlated IMU data
    • Imagery-correlated GPS data

What is the project up against?

  • Existing platform, partial design, and staff experience from 41.068 NT/Seybold sounding rocket flight
  • Good balance of science objectives, tech development, integration, test, and flight
  • Build & flight experience within first year


  • Data loss from operational failure requires extensive rebuilding, since experiment hardware may not survive landing

Schedule: Major milestones

  • Preliminary Design Review: 8/2009
  • Critical Design Review: 11/2009
  • Mission Readiness Review: 4/2010
  • Launch: 12/6/2010

Project members:

  1. Donald G Heyer Project Manager