Continuous Optical Mapping for Munitions Using Terrain Elevation and Reconstruction (COMMUTER)
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625 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138
AbstractContemporary tactical missiles use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) as an economical means of self-localization and target location identification, but GPS signals are subject to jamming and intermittent unavailability. When a missile loses its ability to reliably self-locate, its strike capability is obviously compromised. Traditional methods have compensated by adding another navigation system, driven by fundamentally different sensors, such as an inertial measurement unit (IMU), a stellar navigation system, or TERCOM, but these are subject to an entirely new set of limitations (e.g. an IMU drifts over time, a star tracker is limited by ambient lighting and weather, and TERCOM uses active radar sensing, possibly alerting targets). In this proposal, we outline a system called Continuous Optical Mapping for Munitions Using Terrain Elevation and Reconstruction, or COMMUTER, that can estimate the geolocation and orientation of an air vehicle given an onboard library of shape-based landmark features derived from digital terrain elevation data and a real-time stream of images from an onboard camera. The system does not require GPS, active sensing, or any prior information about the expected flight path. We will assess system accuracy and robustness via evaluation and trade study examining camera, processing, and platform constraints.
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