Carnegie Mellon University
Short-Range Millimeter-Wave Radar Perception in a Polar Environment

Alex Foessel, , and Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos
Proceedings of the Field and Service Robotics Conference, August, 1999.

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Autonomous vehicle operations in Antarctica challenge robotic perception. Flying ice and snow, changing illumination due to low sun angles and lack of contrast degrade stereo and laser sensing. Millimeter-wave radar offers remarkable advantages as a robotic perception modality because it is not as sensitive to the aforementioned conditions. Experiments with millimeter-wave radar in an Antarctic environment show minimal degradation of millimeter-wave sensing capabilities under blowing-snow conditions, as well as backscatter obtained from polar-terrain surfaces at grazing angles and detection of obstacles commonly found in polar areas. This paper presents issues relevant to short-range radar perception for a mobile robot in an Antarctic environment. The article describes the experiments and data-analysis procedures, and draws conclusions on the utility of millimeter-wave radar as a robotic sensor for obstacle avoidance and navigation in polar settings.

Millimeter-wave radar, millimeter-wave imaging, radar scattering, mobile robots, robot sensing

Sponsor: NASA? Office of Space Science, Advanced Technology and Mission Studies Division
Grant ID: Telerobotics Program NAG 5-7707
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Space Robotics Initiative and Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Robotic Antarctic Meteorite Search and Motion Free Scanning Radar

Text Reference
Alex Foessel, , and Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos, "Short-Range Millimeter-Wave Radar Perception in a Polar Environment," Proceedings of the Field and Service Robotics Conference, August, 1999.

BibTeX Reference
   author = "Alex Foessel and and Dimitrios (Dimi) Apostolopoulos",
   editor = "The Robotics Institute",
   title = "Short-Range Millimeter-Wave Radar Perception in a Polar Environment",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the Field and Service Robotics Conference",
   month = "August",
   year = "1999",