Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with cameras can be used to gather images of the terrain to develop an accurate map of the surroundings. This information can be used to support the planning of EVA’s, particularly in the identification of possible hazards for the astronauts and planning EVA routes to areas of interest. We propose to use an UAV (flown manually or autopilot) equipped with a camera to take pictures from the ground during the initial phases of the mission. These images shall be post-processed in order to build a map which shall support the EVA planning during the rest of the mission. Assuming that no global positioning system or landmark knowledge of the ground is available, the team proposes to fly the UAV manually over the surrounding area. Details on the image acquisition system, post-processing methods and type of UAV to use are still under assessment by the team at this phase of the project.
UAV to help terrain mapping in preparation to EVA