Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Tiny drones create new, highly detailed mapping of Matterhorn
by Staff Writers
New York (UPI) Oct 17, 2013

Study: 'Biobots' may help map hidden, dangerous environments
Raleigh, N.C. (UPI) Oct 17, 2013 - A swarm of insect cyborgs, or "biobots," may one day allow the mapping of unknown and dangerous environments such as collapsed buildings, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers from North Carolina State University say they have have developed software that could track a swarm of biobots, such as remotely controlled cockroaches, equipped with electronic sensors and released into a collapsed building or other hard-to-reach area.

"We focused on how to map areas where you have little or no precise information on where each biobot is, such as a collapsed building where you can't use GPS technology," electrical and computer engineering Professor Edgar Lobaton said.

Because the biobots couldn't be tracked by GPS, their precise locations would be unknown, but the sensors would signal researchers via radio waves whenever biobots got close to each other.

The researchers would send a signal commanding the biobots to keep moving until they encounter a wall or other unbroken surface, then keep moving along it, a technique called "wall following."

Repeating cycles of random movement and "wall following" would eventually allow the creation of a map of the unknown environment, they said.

"This would give first responders a good idea of the layout in a previously unmapped area," Lobaton said.

The researchers report they've tested the software using computer simulations and robots and have plans to test the program with biobots.

The Swiss Alps' iconic Matterhorn has been has been mapped in detail never possible before by a fleet of autonomous, fixed-wing drones, researchers say.

The Matterhorn, dominating the skyline of the Swiss/Italian border at 14,692 feet, has challenged climbers since it was first scaled in 1865.

The new mapping, conducted by unmanned aerial vehicle company SenseFly and aerial photography company Pix4D, was introduced at the Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference in New York City this past weekend, reported.

Three drones were launched from the peak of the Matterhorn, flying down the mountain just 100 yards from the face while capturing data points just 8 inches apart.

When they reached the bottom of the mountain a second team of researchers recovered the drones and then relaunched them for additional mapping.

"Such a combination of high altitudes, steep rocky terrain and sheer size of data set has simply not been done before with drones, we wanted to show that it was possible," SenseFly's Adam Klaptocz said.

Tiny drone aircraft yielding detailed maps of coral reef ecosystems
Palo Alto, Calif. (UPI) Oct 17, 2013 - Camera-equipped flying robots can yield insights into climate change effects on important ecosystems like coral reefs, researchers in California say.

Many centuries-old living coral reefs remain unmapped and unmeasured, scientists at Stanford University said, and a shoebox-sized flying drone could help unlock mysteries of these marine ecosystems.

Stanford aeronautics graduate student Ved Chirayath has developed a four-rotor remote-controlled drone outfitted with cameras that can film coral reefs from up to 200 feet in the air.

In an initial study, Chirayath and follow Stanford researcher Stephen Palumbi used the drone to precisely map, measure and study shallow-water reefs off Ofu Island in American Samoa.

"Until now the challenges have been too high for flying platforms like planes, balloons and kites," Palumbi said. "Now send in the drones."

Just as surveys and maps of rainforests have resulted in new understanding of the vital role these ecosystems play in sustaining the biosphere, detailed maps of coral reefs oral maps could do the same for marine environments, the researchers said.

The low-level drones provide better maps that other technologies, they said; satellite imagery through water tends to be distorted by wave movement, radar can't penetrate the water's surface, and sonar doesn't work well in the shallow water where most corals reside.


Related Links
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Astrium Enhances TerraSAR-X Resolution and Coverage Capabilities
Houston TX (SPX) Oct 16, 2013
Astrium, Europe's leading space technology company, has launched two new TerraSAR-X imaging modes. The enhanced imaging capabilities facilitate the delivery of higher resolution imagery as well as the coverage of larger areas. The new Staring SpotLight mode features a resolution of down to 25 cm - unrivalled by any other commercial SAR system. This unprecedented resolution combined with an ... read more

Crowdfunded Lunar Spacecraft Reaches Funding Milestone

LADEE Continues To Settle Into Operational Lunar Orbit

NASA's moon landing remembered as a promise of a 'future which never happened'

Russia could build manned lunar base

India sets November 5 for Mars mission launch

MAVEN Launch Preps on Schedule

Phobos-Grunt-2: Russia to probe Martian moon by 2022

Russian scientists set sights on space

US firm offers 30 kilometer-high balloon ride

NASA strives to tame 'big data' flowing in from dozens of missions

Chinese no longer banned from NASA astronomy meet

'Pillownauts' spend 3 weeks in bed as part of astronaut studies

Is China Challenging Space Security

NASA's China policy faces mounting pressure

Ten Years of Chinese Astronauts

NASA vows to review ban on Chinese astronomers

Cygnus cargo craft leaves international space station

Cygnus cargo craft readies to leave space station

Aerojet Rocketdyne Thrusters Help Cygnus Spacecraft Berth at the International Space Station

First CASIS Funded Payloads Berthed to the ISS

Takeoff of Proton LV with US satellite may be put off until Oct 25

Technical glitch will delay launch of European space mission

Astrium awarded three new contracts by ESA for Ariane 6 and Ariane 5 ME launchers

Sounding Rocket Calibrates NASA's SDO Instrument

Count of discovered exoplanets passes the 1,000 mark

Iowa research team see misaligned planets in distant system

Astronomer see misaligned planets in distant system

Water discovered in remnants of extrasolar rocky world orbiting white dwarf

NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon

NSF Awards $12 Million to SDSC to Deploy "Comet" Supercomputer

Rice scientists create a super antioxidant

Cracked metal, heal thyself

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement