Matching Items (3)

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A cubesat centrifuge for long duration milligravity research

Description

We advocate a low-cost strategy for long-duration research into the ‘milligravity’ environment of asteroids, comets and small moons, where surface gravity is a vector field typically less than 1/1000 the

We advocate a low-cost strategy for long-duration research into the ‘milligravity’ environment of asteroids, comets and small moons, where surface gravity is a vector field typically less than 1/1000 the gravity of Earth. Unlike the microgravity environment of space, there is a directionality that gives rise, over time, to strangely familiar geologic textures and landforms. In addition to advancing planetary science, and furthering technologies for hazardous asteroid mitigation and in situ resource utilization, simplified access to long-duration milligravity offers significant potential for advancing human spaceflight, biomedicine and manufacturing. We show that a commodity 3U (10 × 10 × 34 cm[superscript 3]) cubesat containing a laboratory of loose materials can be spun to 1 r.p.m. = 2π/60 s[superscript −1] on its long axis, creating a centrifugal force equivalent to the surface gravity of a kilometer-sized asteroid. We describe the first flight demonstration, where small meteorite fragments will pile up to create a patch of real regolith under realistic asteroid conditions, paving the way for subsequent missions where landing and mobility technology can be flight-proven in the operational environment, in low-Earth orbit. The 3U design can be adapted for use onboard the International Space Station to allow for variable gravity experiments under ambient temperature and pressure for a broader range of experiments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-06-05

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Methods for calibration, registration, and change detection in robot mapping applications

Description

Multi-sensor fusion is a fundamental problem in Robot Perception. For a robot to operate in a real world environment, multiple sensors are often needed. Thus, fusing data from various sensors

Multi-sensor fusion is a fundamental problem in Robot Perception. For a robot to operate in a real world environment, multiple sensors are often needed. Thus, fusing data from various sensors accurately is vital for robot perception. In the first part of this thesis, the problem of fusing information from a LIDAR, a color camera and a thermal camera to build RGB-Depth-Thermal (RGBDT) maps is investigated. An algorithm that solves a non-linear optimization problem to compute the relative pose between the cameras and the LIDAR is presented. The relative pose estimate is then used to find the color and thermal texture of each LIDAR point. Next, the various sources of error that can cause the mis-coloring of a LIDAR point after the cross- calibration are identified. Theoretical analyses of these errors reveal that the coloring errors due to noisy LIDAR points, errors in the estimation of the camera matrix, and errors in the estimation of translation between the sensors disappear with distance. But errors in the estimation of the rotation between the sensors causes the coloring error to increase with distance.

On a robot (vehicle) with multiple sensors, sensor fusion algorithms allow us to represent the data in the vehicle frame. But data acquired temporally in the vehicle frame needs to be registered in a global frame to obtain a map of the environment. Mapping techniques involving the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithm and the Normal Distributions Transform (NDT) assume that a good initial estimate of the transformation between the 3D scans is available. This restricts the ability to stitch maps that were acquired at different times. Mapping can become flexible if maps that were acquired temporally can be merged later. To this end, the second part of this thesis focuses on developing an automated algorithm that fuses two maps by finding a congruent set of five points forming a pyramid.

Mapping has various application domains beyond Robot Navigation. The third part of this thesis considers a unique application domain where the surface displace- ments caused by an earthquake are to be recovered using pre- and post-earthquake LIDAR data. A technique to recover the 3D surface displacements is developed and the results are presented on real earthquake datasets: El Mayur Cucupa earthquake, Mexico, 2010 and Fukushima earthquake, Japan, 2011.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Helically-Driven Dynamics in Granular Media

Description

Vehicles traverse granular media through complex reactions with large numbers of small particles. Many approaches rely on empirical trends derived from wheeled vehicles in well-characterized media. However, the environments of

Vehicles traverse granular media through complex reactions with large numbers of small particles. Many approaches rely on empirical trends derived from wheeled vehicles in well-characterized media. However, the environments of numerous bodies such as Mars or the moon are primarily composed of fines called regolith which require different design considerations. This dissertation discusses research aimed at understanding the role and function of empirical, computational, and theoretical granular physics approaches as they apply to helical geometries, their envelope of applicability, and the development of new laws. First, a static Archimedes screw submerged in granular material (glass beads) is analyzed using two methods: Granular Resistive Force Theory (RFT), an empirically derived set of equations based on fluid dynamic superposition principles, and Discrete element method (DEM) simulations, a particle modeling software. Dynamic experiments further confirm the computational method with multi-body dynamics (MBD)-DEM co-simulations. Granular Scaling Laws (GSL), a set of physics relationships based on non-dimensional analysis, are utilized for the gravity-modified environments. A testing chamber to contain a lunar analogue, BP-1, is developed and built. An investigation of straight and helical grousered wheels in both silica sand and BP-1 is performed to examine general GSL applicability for lunar purposes. Mechanical power draw and velocity prediction by GSL show non-trivial but predictable deviation. BP-1 properties are characterized and applied to an MBD-DEM environment for the first time. MBD-DEM simulation results between Earth gravity and lunar gravity show good agreement with theoretical predictions for both power and velocity. The experimental deviation is further investigated and found to have a mass-dependant component driven by granular sinkage and engagement. Finally, a robust set of helical granular scaling laws (HGSL) are derived. The granular dynamics scaling of three-dimensional screw-driven mobility is reduced to a similar theory as wheeled scaling laws, provided the screw is radially continuous. The new laws are validated in BP-1 with results showing very close agreement to predictions. A gravity-variant version of these laws is validated with MBD-DEM simulations. The results of the dissertation suggest GSL, HGSL, and MBD-DEM give reasonable approximations for use in lunar environments to predict rover mobility given adequate granular engagement.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019