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Micro Air Vehicles for In-situ Real-time Surveying of Highly Cluttered Environments

Speaker: Roland Brockers, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CalTech
Series: CEE Departmental Seminars
Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium
Date/Time: Monday, February 24, 2014, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Abstract:

Micro Air VehicleImagine aerial robots continuously surveying whole eco-systems at the push of a button in unprecedented detail. What would be your application, if you could mount your favorite in-situ sensor suite on such an autonomous vehicle for long-term, dense and continuous data gathering?

This talk will introduce JPL's work on autonomy for small aerial platforms and its potential application in rapid forest triage for carbon inventorying and real-time climate parameter measuring under tree canopy (e.g. light, humidity, CO2). A special focus is given on the essential building blocks which allow continuous and autonomous operation of such platforms: onboard (visual) perception for position estimation without GPS, real-time obstacle detection and avoidance, and integration of these navigation elements on very small processing platforms to enable miniaturization of the robotic vehicle, or to allow for more instrument payload and endurance.