Technology currently used for terrestrial navigation is extremely limited in the challenging environments on icy moons and ocean worlds such as Europa. Autonomous platforms used to collect data from beneath these ice and ocean surfaces cannot depend on access to satellite or any other electromagnetic communication. Autonomous systems in these environments are required to perform highly-complex tasks over long mission durations through which communication blackout can be expected, and therefore must have access to precise navigation and localization information. Sensor fusion of standard sensing technology such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, doppler velocity logs, and magnetometers must be augmented with more advanced navigation techniques such as novel acoustic approaches, visual navigation and advanced path planning to meet the requirements of these missions. Here we propose to develop such a navigation and path planning system to advance the autonomous capabilities of a robotic system deployed to remote icy moons and ocean planets using tools commonly used in terrestrial applications such as visual navigation, factor graphs, and deep learning. This technology will maximize the science return for future missions to these moons and planets, as well as advance the state-of-the-art technology available for earth science applications.
1. Navigation of Europa Sub-ice Probes and Other Sub-Ice Planetary Probes
2. National Airspace Security
1. Under-ice Navigation at the Poles and Commercial Sector UUVs
2. Autonomous Car Navigation