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Mission planning for the Sun-Synchronous Navigation Field Experiment

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3 Author(s)
Tompkins, P. ; Robotics Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Stentz, A. ; Whittaker, W.

Describes TEMPEST, a planner that enables a solar-powered rover to reason about path selection and event placement in terms of available solar energy and anticipated power draw. Unlike previous path planners, TEMPEST solves the coupled path, path timing and resource management problem. It combines information about mission objectives, operational constraints, the planetary environment and rover performance, and employs the Incremental Search Engine, a search algorithm that produces optimal paths through high-dimensional spaces. In July 2001, TEMPEST supported the Sun-Synchronous Navigation Field Experiment on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic. The planner successfully selected time-sequenced, closed-circuit paths that enabled a solar-powered planetary rover prototype to traverse a multi-kilometer path over 24 hours with battery energy reserve. The field trial results motivate future work in mission re-planning, multiple resource constraint analysis and improved speed and memory performance. Our objective is to fulfill a need for resource-cognizant autonomy that is critical for future long-distance planetary surface missions.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 2002. Proceedings. ICRA '02. IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:4 )

Date of Conference:

2002