Fully autonomous 3D mapping
We plan to improve usability and efficiency of drone 3D mapping to the next level. The first step will be to gather data and software used by our predecessor Bastien Baix from the UCL to Mars 2018 mission. Mapping techniques are constantly evolving and updating the software behind the project is necessary.
The core idea will be to automate the procedure itself. The precision of the built-in GPS positioning system (an error margin of 1-2 meters) and the camera should be enough to fully automate the gathering and treatment of mapping data. UCL to Mars already owns a Parrot Bebop 2 drone that was bought by the previous crew for last year’s experiments that we intend to reuse, and existing technologies can be used to create and share 3D paths in the area of the MDRS.
The challenge will be to optimize the paths everyday, test the functionalities and find the easiest, fastest way to get updated data on site. This will require work before the mission for development and during It for optimization and continuous testing. The final goal would be to develop and test a powerful tool for 3D mapping in a desert environment that is complete, robust and easy to use even for non-engineers.