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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Autonomous Navigation in GNSS-Denied Environments, Phase II
Aurora proposes to transition UMD methods for insect-inspired, lightweight vision- and optical sensor-based navigation methods for a combined air-ground system that leverages the unique capabilities of airborne systems to achieve a progressively refined map of the exploration region which can be accessed by agents within the autonomous team for localization, and by scientists and other ground observers. Research during the Phase–I developed requirements, performed analyses and basic research that provided proof-of-concept demonstrations for navigational capabilities that will enhance the autonomous planetary and asteroid robotic exploration. Techniques derived from recent research were explored to demonstrate a concept for autonomous bio-inspired vision aided navigation to achieve navigation in GPS and magnetometer denied environments, generate obstacle maps and a 3 dimensional map of the environment based on optical flow and navigating to the origin of a map only based on optical flow input. This innovative research is providing a demonstration of the possibility of developing low size, weight and power solutions for vision based navigation by leveraging research on bio-inspired methodologies. During Phase-II further maturation of the algorithms, implementation on a higher fidelity simulation and prototypes and a conceptual design for a flight system will be pursued. More »

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