Technology Experiment: Millimeter Wave (MMW) Radar

MMW radar is a preferred imaging sensor modality because it provides precise range measurements for the environmental imaging needed to perform autonomous operations in dusty, foggy, falling snow occluded (white out, blizzard) and poorly lit environments. Back scatter test will measure the energy reflected in a direction opposite to the incident wave. This test will explore the energy returned at different grazing angles and on different surface types (blue ice, flat ice and snow). These results will be compared to the performance on a similar geometry of regular dirt. This data will help to build a database of performance of MMW imaging radar on different terrain.

Atmospheric penetration test will measure the degradation of performance of the sensor under severe visibility conditions. The same scene will be sensed under clear air conditions and also under heavy flying snow (white-out, blizzard). Visual conditions will be recorded by photography of the scene. A laser scanner will scan the same image for comparison purposes. A quantitative estimation of performance in severe polar conditions will support the application of this sensing modality.

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Robotic Search for Antarctic Meteorites 1998
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