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Sun sensing for planetary rover navigation

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3 Author(s)
Enright, J. ; Dept. of Aerosp. Eng., Ryerson Univ., Toronto, ON ; Furgale, P. ; Barfoot, T.

In this paper, we present an experimental study of sun sensing as a rover navigational aid. Algorithms are outlined to determine (i) rover heading in an absolute reference frame and (ii) absolute rover position (i.e., latitude/longitude). Our sensor suite consists of a sun sensor, inclinometer, and clock (as well as ephemeris data). We describe a technique to determine ground-truth orientation in the field (without using a compass) and present a large number of experimental results (both in Toronto and on Devon Island) showing our ability to determine absolute rover heading to within a few degrees. We also present our preliminary results on determining absolute rover position.

Published in:

Aerospace conference, 2009 IEEE

Date of Conference:

7-14 March 2009