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Robotic navigation technology explores the deep ocean



Navigation using Orpheus’ version of vision is called visual-inertial odometry, or xVIO, and works using an advanced camera system and pattern matching software, along with instruments that can accurately measure direction and motion as Orpheus travels. Through the seafloor, xVIO identifies properties such as rocks, shells and corals on the bottom of the vehicle. As well as recognizing landmarks during road trips, xVIO will generate a 3D map using these features as a waypoint to aid navigation. But this system is more than just a way to keep underwater robots from getting lost.

The high-resolution maps created by xVIO are stored in memory, so when Orpheus returns to space, it will recognize its unique distribution of properties and serve as a starting point for expanding expeditions. And when working with fellow robots, cross-reference maps can be shared and developed to quickly identify areas of interest in science.

“In the future, some of the harshest ocean environments will be within reach. From deep ocean trenches to geothermal vents, there are many new destinations for us to explore, ”said Andy Klesh, Systems Engineer at JPL. In the ocean, which is directly beneficial to NASA as an analogue for independent space exploration. “

But Klesh noted another collaboration between NASA and organizations such as WHOI and NOAA, with extensive oceanographic expertise: a technology developed to explore the world̵

7;s oceans with small and intelligent underwater vehicles. Durable, can finally be controlled to explore the ocean. Other world

Earth’s analogues are often used as environmental indicators for other locations in the solar system.For example, Jupiter’s moon Europa has a subsurface ocean that can host life in favorable conditions.

“At the depths of the Earth on Earth, the pressure is similar to Europa’s subsurface ocean, thought to be 80 km. [50 miles] “It is deep to think that this expedition could be a stepping stone to new discoveries about our own world. To answer the most fundamental question, is life that is unique to the world, or is there any place other than this light blue spot where life can occur? But before we can explore Europa or any other ocean world, we need to better understand our own home. ”

For more information on the technology demonstration, see:

https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex2102/welcome.html


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