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Attitude and position estimation on the Mars exploration rovers

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7 Author(s)
Ali, K.S. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Vanelli, C.A. ; Biesiadecki, J.J. ; Maimone, M.W.
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NASA/JPL's Mars exploration rovers acquire their attitude upon command and autonomously propagate their attitude and position. The rovers use accelerometers and images of the sun to acquire attitude, autonomously searching the sky for the sun with an articulated camera. To propagate the attitude and position the rovers use either accelerometer and gyro readings or gyro readings and wheel odometry, depending on the nature of the movement Earth-based operators have commanded. Where necessary, visual odometry is performed on images to fine tune the position updates, particularly in high slip environments. The capability also exists for visual odometry attitude updates. This paper describes the techniques used by the rovers to acquire and maintain attitude and position knowledge, the accuracy which is obtainable, and lessons learned after more than one year in operation.

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 2005 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

10-12 Oct. 2005