This research presents a method of identifying craters in planetary images. Crater detection forms the crux of optical registration algorithms in which collections of craters are matched to known locations on a planet. Absolute pose of a spacecraft can be recovered from pixel coordinates in the image and matching locations on the planet’s surface. While on-board GPS and INS systems are sufficient for pose estimation close to Earth, these methods fail in GPS-denied regions such as the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and other planetary bodies. As a result, georegistration using craters is ideal for estimating pose of a spacecraft when radio communications drop out.
Wennie Tabib is a Masters student in the Robotics Institute advised by Red Whittaker. She received her B.S. degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. She works part-time at Astrobotic Technology, Inc. as a software engineer on the autonomous landing team. She will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science this fall. Her current research interest is optical navigation.