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Proceedings Paper

Visual registration for robotic operations on space shuttle tiles
Author(s): Jeff L. DeCurtins; Cregg K. Cowan
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Paper Abstract

Refurbishing the thermal-protection tiles on a space shuttle before each mission is a lengthy and labor-intensive process. A mobile robot is being developed (described elsewhere) to perform two of the required maintenance operations on the bottom side of the shuttle: (1) injection of a hydrophobic fluid, to prevent tiles from absorbing water, and (2) visual inspection, to detect anomalous tile conditions. Both operations depend on precise positioning of the robot end effector with respect to each tile. We describe our method for precise visual registration. The technique first detects the edges of the tile (whose approximate shape and dimensions are given from CAD data) and then uses correspondence between visual features in the post- and pre-flight images to improve the registration accuracy. Results on actual tile images are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1992
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1829, Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space III, (1 November 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.131708
Show Author Affiliations
Jeff L. DeCurtins, SRI International (United States)
Cregg K. Cowan, SRI International (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1829:
Cooperative Intelligent Robotics in Space III
Jon D. Erickson, Editor(s)

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