UWB and UW Seal
Clark F. Olson
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Visual Localization Methods for Mars Rovers using Lander, Rover, and Descent Imagery
Larry H. Matthies, Clark F. Olson, Greg Tharp, and Sharon Laubach
In Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, pages 413-418, 1997.
Mars rover sample return missions will require rover localization on scales ranging from under a meter near landers and sample caches, to 10's of meters for local exploration, to 100's of meters for long range exploration. A variety of technologies may contribute to rover localization, but at present there is no concretely defined localization architecture that covers all of these scales. This paper surveys approaches to visual localization using overhead and ground-level imagery and discusses particular capabilities under development at JPL. We conclude that visual localization is (1) reasonably well understood at the smallest scale, where mapping is done with mast-mounted cameras on the lander or rover, (2) reasonably promising at intermediate scales, where mapping is done with descent imagery, and (3) of uncertain potential for the largest scales, where mapping is done from orbit, due to lack of orbital imagery with adequate resolution. This suggests that the largest scales be addressed either with other sensors or by planning for additional, high resolution imaging, especially in stereo, in the area of traverse.