A Sun Tracker for Planetary Analog Rovers

Matthew C. Deans, David Wettergreen, and Daniel Villa
8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, October, 2005.


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Abstract
This paper describes the principles, design, implementation, use, and performance of a sun tracker for fixed reference orientation estimation. With relatively simple, familiar, inexpensive and low power off-the-shelf components and straightfoward modeling and calibration, a sun tracker can provide full 3-DOF orientation with accuracy well within a degree of roll pitch and yaw, and without drift. This can enable high precision long distance navigation in a Mars relevant fashion, i.e. without use of physical properties such as Earth's magnetosphere or modern infrastructure such as GPS. Most importantly, the heading errors are fixed over time, unlike estimates derived from dead reckoning or integration of inertial rate sensors.

Keywords
Sun tracker, sun sensor, camera calibration, position estimation

Notes
Sponsor: NASA
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Life in the Atacama
Number of pages: 7

Text Reference
Matthew C. Deans, David Wettergreen, and Daniel Villa, "A Sun Tracker for Planetary Analog Rovers," 8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, October, 2005.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Wettergreen_2005_5129,
   author = "Matthew C. Deans and David Wettergreen and Daniel Villa",
   title = "A Sun Tracker for Planetary Analog Rovers",
   booktitle = "8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space",
   month = "October",
   year = "2005",
}