Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

APL Backpack-Sized Mini-mapper Captures Intel in Tight Spots

27.03.2013
Engineers at APL have developed a portable mapping system—carried in a backpack—that can be used to automatically create annotated physical maps of locations where GPS is not available, such as in underground areas and on ships.

Produced for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System (EMAPS) captures a floor-plan-style map of the area traversed, as well as 360-degree photos and sensor readings of that area using a combination of lasers and sensors.

The system improves upon algorithms once developed for robots—which are not practical for all environments—and has a built-in allowance for normal human movement, like walking.

Using light, detection, and ranging (LIDAR) sensors, EMAPS works while operators walk through an area carrying the unit in a backpack. Designed mainly to detect and map environmental threats on ships and in other tough-to-get-to locations, EMAPS' novel algorithms also associate critical environmental data, such as radiation or radio frequency signal levels, with map locations.

The basic EMAPS unit is an approximately six-inch cube that weighs less than four pounds (smaller than a brick), and includes a 270-degree laser scanner that measures the distances to walls and features in the environment. "EMAPS virtually takes pictures with every step," says Jason Stipes, of the Force Projection Department. "Using this technology, we can map almost every nook and cranny of targeted locations, capture that intelligence, and store it. Sensors can also detect threats, such as radiation or chemicals, and include them in our map."

A second laser scanner is available to allow 3-D data collection, while an inertial sensor measures the roll, pitch, and yaw of the system to compensate for steps taken by the user. In addition, a removable camera system can be used to capture omnidirectional images along the walker's path. A GPS receiver can be connected to EMAPS to allow for georegistration of the data, and an onboard computer stores and processes data in real time.

Stipes says EMAPS has collected more than 100 hours of mapping data from a wide array of GPS-denied environments, including ships, underground storage facilities, Army training areas, and buildings such as the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. The maps include paths that are several miles long, in environments ranging from office buildings to complex engine rooms of ships at sea.

"The EMAPS software addresses a number of challenges using specially developed algorithms," says Stipes. "Working with DTRA, APL engineers have created software to efficiently map data without boundaries while using a fixed amount of computer memory. And, while previous algorithms fail in open areas and long, smooth hallways, we have been able to design algorithms to map these challenging environments."

Gina Ellrich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhuapl.edu
http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/stories/st130321.asp

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Efficient time synchronization of sensor networks by means of time series analysis
24.01.2017 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

nachricht Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>