First Experiment in Sun-Synchronous Exploration

David Wettergreen, M Bernardine Dias, Benjamin Shamah, James Teza, Paul Tompkins, Christopher Urmson, Michael D. Wagner, and William (Red) L. Whittaker
International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2002, pp. 3501-3507.


Download
  • Adobe portable document format (pdf) (1MB)
Copyright notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

Abstract
Sun-synchronous exploration is accomplished by reasoning about sunlight: where the Sun is in the sky, where and when shadows will fall, and how much power can be obtained through various courses of action. In July 2001 a solar-powered rover, named Hyperion, completed two sun-synchronous exploration experiments in the Canadian high arctic (75?). Using knowledge of orbital mechanics, local terrain, and expected power consumption, Hyperion planned a sun-synchronous route to visit designated sites while obtaining the necessary solar power for continuous 24-hour operation. Hyperion executed its plan and returned to its starting location with batteries fully charged after traveling more than 6 kilometers in barren, Mars-analog terrain.

In this paper we describe the concept of sun-synchronous exploration. We overview the design of the robot Hyperion and the software system that enables it to operate sun-synchronously. We then discuss results from analysis of our first experiment in sun-synchronous exploration and conclude with observations.


Keywords
Planetary robotics, autonomy, solar power, path planning

Notes
Sponsor: NASA
Grant ID: NAG9-1256
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Sun Synchronous Navigation

Text Reference
David Wettergreen, M Bernardine Dias, Benjamin Shamah, James Teza, Paul Tompkins, Christopher Urmson, Michael D. Wagner, and William (Red) L. Whittaker, "First Experiment in Sun-Synchronous Exploration," International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2002, pp. 3501-3507.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Wettergreen_2002_3983,
   author = "David Wettergreen and M Bernardine Dias and Benjamin Shamah and James Teza and Paul Tompkins and Christopher Urmson and Michael D Wagner and William (Red) L. Whittaker",
   title = "First Experiment in Sun-Synchronous Exploration",
   booktitle = "International Conference on Robotics and Automation",
   pages = "3501-3507",
   month = "May",
   year = "2002",
}