Localizing MoonRanger

Localization makes a best estimate of a robot’s position by fusing data from wheel encoders, inertial measurement unit, sun compass, and camera images (visual odometry). These four sources are fused into a best estimate by combining them with an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF). Unlike Earth, this is done for the Moon without GPS. The estimate … Continued

Testing MoonRanger’s Wireless Communication

All commands reach MoonRanger from Earth, and MoonRanger’s exploration data is conveyed back to Earth after WiFi relay through its lander. This WiFi is absolutely essential to mission success. The capability is achieved by a custom circuit board developed around the CC3200 WiFi chip. The board has a pair of selectable antenna ports that selectively … Continued

Binary Lighting and Motion Blur

The selection of exposure time and lens aperture is dependent on lighting and motion blur. Too much exposure or aperture causes burnout and lack of detail in images. Too much motion blurs detail such that images aren’t usable for computer vision operations such as calculating depth models from stereo. Pixel Value vs. Intensity, Time and … Continued