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Involved researchers

MILA (Miniaturized Imaging Laser Altimeter) is an ESA project aiming at the development of a compact imaging altimeter for the future ESA mission in order to provide a support for the global navigation system in the approach and landing of flying spacecrafts.

The concepts developed will be based on novel technologies: a breadboard will be built and tested for the concept evaluation. Following mission requirements review and investigation of technologies for the subsystems of imaging Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) devices, optimized miniaturised LiDAR architectural concepts for altimetry, imaging and attitude control operational modes will be suggested based on Single Photon Counting (SPC) LiDAR architecture.

The work is carried out under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency.

Disclaimer: the view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

Monday, 1 September, 2014 to Sunday, 1 May, 2016
  • Analyse the requirements of future envisaged ESA missions in terms of distance ranging equipment
  • Conceive and select a range imaging architecture
  • Develop a breadboard for the evaluation of the developed technology
20 months
  • CSEM: main contractor, coordinator and systems engineering from concepts to full breadboard realization
  • FBK: architecture and detector array technology
  • LZH: selection of the most appropriate laser technologies
  • Astrium: proximity navigations constraints and elaboration of algorithms
  • DLR: dynamic tests and associated test benches
Unit role: 

The role of IRIS is to analyze present technologies with respect to the missions constraints and to propose a novel architecture for an integrated range imaging device, and then to desing, fabricate and provide initial measurements. FBK is a subcontractor of CSEM, which is the main contractor to ESA.