Flash imaging LiDAR is recognized as a primary candidate sensor for several autonomous navigation phases such as for example, for safe precision landing on celestial bodies such as Mars or Jupiter and Saturn moons, and for rendezvous operations and docking/capture necessary for sample return missions, satellite servicing, and space debris removal. This paper presents a 'hybrid flash imaging LiDAR' breadboard developed in the frame on an ESA activity: the Miniature Imaging Laser Altimeter (MILA) project. A hybrid implementation of a flash imaging LiDAR based on a single photon detection concept was proposed to address requirements involving the provision of distance measurements and 3D mapping at a few kilometers to a few meters to the target at relative velocity ranging from a few m/s to a few tens of m/s. It is shown that the breadboard (BB) provides distance measurement with precision of 5 cm at distances until either 300 m or 1.1 km depending on the operation mode selected with static and moving targets.
in Igarss 2018 - 2018 Ieee International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (Issue), ed New York: Ieee, 2018, pp. 1849-1852.