Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Brewer, Eric Thomas Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-12212009-220642 Title Autonomous Localization of 1/R^2 Sources Using an Aerial Platform Degree Master of Science Department Mechanical Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Kochersberger, Kevin Bruce Committee Chair Southward, Steve C. Committee Member Sultan, Cornel Committee Member Keywords
- Source Localization
Date of Defense 2009-12-09 Availability unrestricted AbstractUnmanned vehicles are often used in time-critical missions such as reconnaissance or
search and rescue. To this end, this thesis provides autonomous localization and mapping
tools for 1=R2 sources. A \1=R2" source is one in which the received intensity of the source
is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. An autonomous
localization algorithm is developed which utilizes a particle swarm particle ltering method
to recursively estimate the location of a source.
To implement the localization algorithm experimentally, a command interface with
Virginia Tech's autonomous helicopter was developed. The interface accepts state informa-
tion from the helicopter, and returns command inputs to drive the helicopter autonomously
to the source. To make the use of the system more intuitive, a graphical user interface was
developed which provides localization functionality as well as a waypoint navigation outer-
loop controller for the helicopter. This assists in positioning the helicopter and returning it
home after the the algorithm is completed.
An autonomous mapping mission with a radioactive source is presented, along with a
localization experiment utilizing simulated sensor readings.
This work is the rst phase of an on-going project at the Unmanned Systems Lab.
Accordingly, this thesis also provides a framework for its continuation in the next phase of
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