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Proceedings Paper

Triangular mesh model for natural terrain
Author(s): Reda Ezzat Fayek; Andrew K. C. Wong
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Paper Abstract

Planetary exploration is a new challenge in the field of space robotics. Most of the topographic information available today about planetary surfaces was gathered either by orbiters or stationary landers. The use of an autonomous rover capable of building detailed maps of unstructured natural terrains would be more relevant, in the long term, for such space exploration missions. This paper presents a natural terrain model to represent and analyze the information gathered by an exploration rover using 3D computer vision. Irregular triangular meshes are suitable for the representation of amorphous natural terrain and could easily adapt to its irregular nature. The triangular terrain model presented captures both the range and the intensity information of the planetary scenes, enabling the modeling of topographic features at different resolution levels and the construction of conceptual topologic maps. In this paper, we first provide a compact representation for the rugged terrain scenes, and then use the resulting topographic maps to assist visual navigation of an autonomous exploration rover. The symbolic topologic maps can be used for the strategic planning of the exploration mission and reasoning about its various alternatives.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 October 1994
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2353, Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XIII: Algorithms and Computer Vision, (10 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.188882
Show Author Affiliations
Reda Ezzat Fayek, Univ. of Waterloo (Canada)
Andrew K. C. Wong, Univ. of Waterloo (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2353:
Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XIII: Algorithms and Computer Vision
David P. Casasent, Editor(s)

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