Jan-Hendrik Ewers Logo

A Novel Methodology for Autonomous Planetary Exploration Using Multi-Robot Teams

May. 2024 ☕️ buy me a coffee


One of the fundamental limiting factors in planetary exploration is the autonomous capabilities of planetary exploration rovers. This study proposes a novel methodology for trustworthy autonomous multi-robot teams which incorporates data from multiple sources (HiRISE orbiter imaging, probability distribution maps, and on-board rover sensors) to find efficient exploration routes in Jezero crater. A map is generated, consisting of a 3D terrain model, traversability analysis, and probability distribution map of points of scientific interest. A three-stage mission planner generates an efficient route, which maximises the accumulated probability of identifying points of interest. A 4D RRT* algorithm is used to determine smooth, flat paths, and prioritised planning is used to coordinate a safe set of paths. The above methodology is shown to coordinate safe and efficient rover paths, which ensure the rovers remain within their nominal pitch and roll limits throughout operation.


  title = {A {{Novel Methodology}} for {{Autonomous Planetary Exploration Using Multi-Robot Teams}}},
  author = {Swinton, Sarah and Ewers, Jan-Hendrik and McGookin, Euan and Anderson, David and Thomson, Douglas},
  year = {2024},
  month = may,
  number = {arXiv:2405.12790},
  eprint = {2405.12790},
  primaryclass = {cs},
  publisher = {arXiv},
  urldate = {2024-05-22},
  archiveprefix = {arxiv},
  copyright = {All rights reserved},
  oa = {true}