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 Three components on one chip
06.12.2018 | Universität Stuttgart

nachricht New quantum materials could take computing devices beyond the semiconductor era
04.12.2018 | University of California - Berkeley

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

Inaugural "Virtual World Tour" scheduled for december

28.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

07.12.2018 | Life Sciences

High-temperature electronics? That's hot

07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Supercomputers without waste heat

07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>