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Proceedings Paper

Multi-sensor integration for unmanned terrain modeling
Author(s): Sreenivas R. Sukumar; Sijie Yu; David L. Page; Andreas F. Koschan; Mongi A. Abidi
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Paper Abstract

State-of-the-art unmanned ground vehicles are capable of understanding and adapting to arbitrary road terrain for navigation. The robotic mobility platforms mounted with sensors detect and report security concerns for subsequent action. Often, the information based on the localization of the unmanned vehicle is not sufficient for deploying army resources. In such a scenario, a three dimensional (3D) map of the area that the ground vehicle has surveyed in its trajectory would provide a priori spatial knowledge for directing resources in an efficient manner. To that end, we propose a mobile, modular imaging system that incorporates multi-modal sensors for mapping unstructured arbitrary terrain. Our proposed system leverages 3D laser-range sensors, video cameras, global positioning systems (GPS) and inertial measurement units (IMU) towards the generation of photo-realistic, geometrically accurate, geo-referenced 3D terrain models. Based on the summary of the state-of-the-art systems, we address the need and hence several challenges in the real-time deployment, integration and visualization of data from multiple sensors. We document design issues concerning each of these sensors and present a simple temporal alignment method to integrate multi-sensor data into textured 3D models. These 3D models, in addition to serving as a priori for path planning, can also be used in simulators that study vehicle-terrain interaction. Furthermore, we show our 3D models possessing the required accuracy even for crack detection towards road surface inspection in airfields and highways.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6230, Unmanned Systems Technology VIII, 623008 (9 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.666249
Show Author Affiliations
Sreenivas R. Sukumar, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
Sijie Yu, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
David L. Page, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
Andreas F. Koschan, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)
Mongi A. Abidi, Univ. of Tennessee (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6230:
Unmanned Systems Technology VIII
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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