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Title: Mapping and visualizing ancient water storage systems with an ROV - an approach based on fusing stationary scans within a particle filter
Authors: McVicker, William
Forrester, Jeffrey
Gambin, Timmy
Lehr, Jane
Wood, Zoe J.
Clark, Christopher M.
Keywords: Water -- Storage -- History
Underwater archaeology
Sonar -- History
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Citation: McVicker, W., Forrester, J., Gambin, T., Lehr, J., Wood, Z. J., & Clark, C. M. (2012). Mapping and visualizing ancient water storage systems with an ROV - an approach based on fusing stationary scans within a particle filter. International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, Guangzhou. 538-544.
Abstract: This paper presents a new method for construct- ing 2D maps of enclosed underwater structures using an underwater robot equipped with only a 2D scanning sonar, compass and depth sensor. In particular, no motion model or odometry is used. To accomplish this, a two step offline SLAM method is applied to a set of stationary sonar scans. In the first step, the change in position of the robot between each consecutive pair of stationary sonar scans is estimated using a particle filter. This set of pair wise relative scan positions is used to create an estimate of each scan’s position within a global coordinate frame using a weighted least squares fit that optimizes consistency between the relative positions of the entire set of scans. In the second step of the method, scans and their estimated positions act as inputs to a mapping algorithm that constructs 2D octree-based evidence grid maps of the site. This work is motivated by a multi-year archeological project that aims to construct maps of ancient water storage systems, i.e. cisterns, on the islands of Malta and Gozo. Cisterns, wells, and water galleries within fortresses, churches and homes oper- ated as water storage systems as far back as 2000 B.C. Using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) these water storage systems located around the islands were explored while collecting video, still images, sonar, depth, and compass measurements. Data gathered from 3 different expeditions has produced maps of over 60 sites. Presented are results from applying the new mapping method to both a swimming pool of known size and to several of the previously unexplored water storage systems.
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