/Planning Routes of Continuous Illumination and Traversable Slope using Connected Component Analysis

Planning Routes of Continuous Illumination and Traversable Slope using Connected Component Analysis

Nathan D. Otten, Heather L. Jones, David S. Wettergreen and William L. Whittaker
Conference Paper, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 3953-3958, July, 2015

Download Publication (PDF)

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

This paper presents a method that applies connected component analysis to plan routes that keep robots continuously illuminated and on traversable slopes while reaching one or more goal locations. Such routes promise to extend the lifespan, range, and scientific return of solar-powered robots exploring environments with changing but predictable lighting conditions, particularly those of the Moon and Mercury. Maps of lighting and ground slope that describe these constraints in position and time are computed, and all distinct interconnected regions that have both direct sunlight and safe slope are found using connected component analysis. These three-dimensional connected components are pruned of roots that violate time constraints and branches that dead-end in discontinuous routes. Each component is the basis for a graph that includes all feasible routes from the initial time to the final time of that component. The shortest feasible route between a pair of start and goal positions within the same component is found using A* search and is characterized by its total length and average speed. Malapert Peak and Shackleton Crater, both near the Moon’s South Pole, serve as examples throughout this paper due to their highly-relevant, dynamic, and predictable lighting caused by the Moon’s motion relative to the Sun.

BibTeX Reference
@conference{Otten-2015-106135,
author = {Nathan D. Otten and Heather L. Jones and David S. Wettergreen and William L. Whittaker},
title = {Planning Routes of Continuous Illumination and Traversable Slope using Connected Component Analysis},
booktitle = {2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
year = {2015},
month = {July},
pages = {3953-3958},
publisher = {IEEE},
keywords = {path planning, routes, continuous illumination, traversable slope, connected component analysis, sun-synchronous, lunar, polar, roving, graph theory, A* search, spatiotemporal, predictive models, sunlight, lighting, maps, constraints, solar-powered, aerospace robotics, planetary rovers, Moon, Sun},
}
2018-05-24T13:55:34+00:00