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Trey Smith's Publications

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Life in the Atacama: Science Autonomy for Improving Data Quality.

Trey Smith, David R. Thompson, David S. Wettergreen, Nathalie A. Cabrol, Kimberley A. Warren-Rhodes, and Shmuel J. Weinstein. J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosciences, 2007.




"Science autonomy" refers to exploration robotics technologies involving onboard science analysis of collected data. These techniques enable a rover to make adaptive decisions about which measurements to collect and transmit. Science autonomy can compensate for limited communications bandwidth by ensuring that planetary scientists receive those images and spectra that best meet mission goals. Here, we present the results of autonomous science experiments performed in the Atacama Desert of Chile during the Life in the Atacama (LITA) rover field campaign. We aim to provide an overview of autonomous science principles and examine their integration into the LITA operations strategy. We present experiments in four specific autonomous science domains: (1) autonomously responding to evidence of life with more detailed measurements; (2) rock detection for site profiling and selective data return; (3) tactical replanning to efficiently map the distribution of life; (4) detecting novel images and geologic unit boundaries in image sequences. In each of these domains we demonstrate improvements in the quality of returned data through autonomous analysis of imagery.

BibTeX Entry

  author = 	 {Trey Smith and David R. Thompson and David S. Wettergreen and Nathalie A. Cabrol and Kimberley A. Warren-Rhodes and Shmuel J. Weinstein},
  title = 	 {Life in the Atacama: Science Autonomy for Improving Data Quality},
  journal = 	 {J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosciences},
  year = 	 2007,

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