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Estimation, Search, and Planning (ESP) Research Group

A proof-of-concept, rover-based system for autonomously locating methane gas sources on Mars

Authors
  1. Laszlo-Peter Berczi
  2. Jonathan D. Gammell
  3. Chi Hay Tong
  4. Timothy D. Barfoot
  5. Michael Daly
Publication Date
Abstract

This paper presents a proof-of-concept, rover-based system to locate the source(s) of methane gas on Mars. A distributed open-path spectrometer is mounted on a rover and pointed at several retroreflective signs to measure the line-of-sight methane concentration between the rover and sign. By moving the rover around and accumulating such measurements, the location of a methane source can be determined. The system was integrated and tested over a 2 kilometre traverse in an analog mission at the Canadian Space Agency on the Mars Emulation Terrain. Engineering results suggest that total driving distance is comparable to other similar methods, but by using a network of reusable paths, the total distance driven in new terrain can be reduced by a factor of five. Autonomous pointing of signs was successful 80% of the time. Future work includes combining the engineering and science data from the analog mission to better understand how to locate methane sources.

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Publication Details
Type
Full-Paper-Refereed Conference Paper
Conference
International Conference on Computer and Robot Vision (CRV)
Location
Regina, SK, Canada
Digital Object Identifier DOI
10.1109/CRV.2013.16
Manuscript
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BibTeX Entry
@inproceedings{berczi_crv13,
author = {Laszlo-Peter Berczi and Jonathan D Gammell and Chi Hay Tong and Timothy D Barfoot and Michael Daly},
title = {A proof-of-concept, rover-based system for autonomously locating methane gas sources on {Mars}},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer and Robot Vision ({CRV})},
year = {2013},
address = {Regina, SK, Canada},
month = {28--31 } # may,
doi = {10.1109/CRV.2013.16},
}