To develop image processing algorithms for 3-D sensors, Michigan Aerospace Corp. of Ann Arbor has received a $600,000, two-year contract from NASA and its Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The software and hardware will have applications in the space, defense and commercial sectors. Mapping, face recognition, obstacle avoidance and the autonomous rendezvous and docking of spacecraft are among the anticipated uses for the technology.The company also has launched an image exploitation business unit, which consists of experts in 2-D and 3-D image processing and hardware development. The group will work to expand the company's product base with federal and commercial funding. It will initially focus on sensing and processing for spacecraft operations.In other news, the company has opened an office in Berkeley, Calif., to provide technical and programming support for projects involving lidar systems and mechanisms for spacecraft operations while emphasizing image exploitation projects.