Micro Air Vehicles with the capability to autonomously navigate in highly cluttered environment will revolutionize in-situ data gathering of climate variables in complex ecosystems like forests. To profile a 3D volume, the system has to be able to plan its path through a predefined area in order to collect science data with its sensors while at the same time avoiding obstacles and estimating its position in the world without GPS. This task will, for the first time, demonstrate the capability to construct tree distribution maps calculated from stereo vision data that are augmented with measurements of other climate parameters (e.g., light intensity, humidity, etc.).
Roland Brockers - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Strategic University Research Partnership Program