The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Autonomous Helicopter Testbed: A platform for planetary exploration technology research and development

James F. Montgomery, Andrew E. Johnson, Stergios I. Roumeliotis, Larry H. Matthies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Autonomous Helicopter Testbed (AHT), an aerial robot based upon a radio-controlled model helicopter, provides a small low-cost platform for developing and field testing new technologies needed for future space missions. The AHT helps cover the test space in a complementary fashion to other methods, such as rocket sleds or parachute drops. The AHT design and implementation is presented as well as experimental results and milestones achieved since its creation in 2001. In addition, technologies we are developing and testing are described. These include image-based hazard detection and avoidance algorithms for safe landing in dangerous terrain and an extended Kalman filter that augments inertial navigation with image-based motion estimates to enable pin-point landing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-267
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Field Robotics
Volume23
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

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