Towards Visual Arctic Terrain Assessment
Howard, Ayanna M.
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Many important scientific studies, particularly those involving climate change, require weather measurements from the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Due to the harsh and dangerous conditions of such environments, it would be advantageous to deploy a group of autonomous, mobile weather sensors, rather than accepting the expense and risk of human presence. For such a sensor network to be viable, a method of navigating, and thus a method of terrain assessment, must be developed that is tailored for arctic hazards. An extension to a previous arctic terrain assessment method is presented, which is able to produce dense terrain slope estimates from a single camera. To validate this methodology, a set of prototype arctic rovers have been designed, constructed, and fielded on a glacier in Alaska.