Planetary Skylight and Cave Exploration
Physics-based Vision and Active Illumination
Exploiting the physics of light transport is critical to the design and use of optical sensors. My dissertation explored the use of targeted vision and illumination approaches (coined Lumenhancement) for perception. Intelligent use of active illumination or estimation of natural light fields can enhance features in images. When coupled with appearance-constrained environments such as dark planetary and underground spaces, image-based perception techniques gain significant effectiveness beyond non-contextual approaches. Generalization is achieved by grouping similar spaces into “appearance domains”. While demonstrated for a variety of planetary and underground environments, the thesis is broadly applicable to other appearance classes like indoor and urban robotics.
At NASA Ames, I am building new facilities and expertise for characterization of planetary surface sensors.