LandingNav: A precision autonomous landing sensor for robotic platforms on planetary bodies
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Increased interest in the exploration of extra terrestrial planetary bodies calls for an increase in the number of spacecraft landing on remote planetary surfaces. Currently, imaging and radar based surveys are used to determine regions of interest and a safe landing zone. The purpose of this paper is to introduce LandingNav, a sensor system solution for autonomous landing on planetary bodies that enables landing on unknown terrain. LandingNav is based on a novel multiple field of view imaging system that leverages the integration of different state of the art technologies for feature detection, tracking, and 3D dense stereo map creation. In this paper we present the test flight results of the LandingNav system prototype. Sources of errors due to hardware limitations and processing algorithms were identified and will be discussed. This paper also shows that addressing the issues identified during the post-flight test data analysis will reduce the error down to 1-2%, thus providing for a high precision 3D range map sensor system. 2009 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.
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Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XXVII: Algorithms and Techniques