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Title: Underwater robots with sonar and smart tether for underground cistern mapping and exploration
Authors: Hiranandani, Daniel
White, Cory
Clark, Christopher M.
Gambin, Timmy
Buhagiar, Keith
Keywords: Underwater exploration -- History
Archaeology -- History
Underwater exploration -- History
Sonar -- History
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: VAST
Citation: Hiranandani, D., White, C., Clark, C., Gambin, T., & Buhagiar, K. (2009). Underwater robots with sonar and smart tether for underground cistern mapping and exploration. 10th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, St. Julians. 1-5.
Abstract: This paper describes the application of using a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to map and explore underground water cisterns during a series of expeditions to Malta and Gozo. The purpose of this project was to create maps of ancient cisterns located under private homes, churches, and fortresses where passageways leading to the cisterns are too narrow and dangerous for humans to enter. These cisterns were used as water storage systems for hundreds of years, and many still contained water. The small ROV that was lowered into these cisterns was equipped with a sonar module to enable the creation of maps, two cameras to record live video, a grabber-arm for interacting with objects in the environment, and a Smart Tether to record additional positioning data of the ROV. Each of these components are discussed in terms of functionality and appropriateness for use by archaeologists wishing to explore and extract mapping information from narrow water-filled caverns. Additionally, three different mapping and localization techniques are presented including 1) Sonar image mosaics using stationary sonar scans, 2) Sonar image mosaics using stationary sonar scans with Smart Tether position data, and 3) Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) using stationary sonar scans. Each of the algorithms used in this project have benefits in certain applications. During two expeditions in Malta and Gozo, 2-dimensional maps of 32 cisterns were successfully constructed.
ISBN: 9783905674187
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtCA

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