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The Cyborg Astrobiologist: Porting from a wearable computer to the Astrobiology Phone-cam

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We have used a simple camera phone to significantly improve an `exploration system' for astrobiology and geology. This camera phone will make it much easier to develop and test computer-vision algorithms for future planetary exploration. We envision that the `Astrobiology Phone-cam' exploration system can be fruitfully used in other problem domains as well.


Science Autonomy for Rover Subsurface Exploration of the Atacama Desert

AI Magazine

This, coupled with limited bandwidth and latencies, motivates on-board autonomy that ensures the quality of the science data return. Increasing quality of the data requires better sample selection, data validation, and data reduction. Robotic studies in Mars-like desert terrain have advanced autonomy for long-distance exploration and seeded technologies for planetary rover missions. In these field experiments the remote science team uses a novel control strategy that intersperses preplanned activities with autonomous decision making. The robot performs automatic data collection, interpretation, and response at multiple spatial scales.


Science Autonomy for Rover Subsurface Exploration of the Atacama Desert

AI Magazine

As planetary rovers expand their capabilities, traveling longer distances, deploying complex tools, and collecting voluminous scientific data, the requirements for intelligent guidance and control also grow. This, coupled with limited bandwidth and latencies, motivates onboard autonomy that ensures the quality of the science data return. Increasing quality of the data involves better sample selection, data validation, and data reduction. Robotic studies in Mars-like desert terrain have advanced autonomy for long distance exploration and seeded technologies for planetary rover missions. In these field experiments the remote science team uses a novel control strategy that intersperses preplanned activities with autonomous decision making. The robot performs automatic data collection, interpretation, and response at multiple spatial scales. Specific capabilities include instrument calibration, visual targeting of selected features, an onboard database of collected data, and a long range path planner that guides the robot using analysis of current surface and prior satellite data. Field experiments in the Atacama Desert of Chile over the past decade demonstrate these capabilities and illustrate current challenges and future directions.


Interpretable Discovery in Large Image Data Sets

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Automated detection of new, interesting, unusual, or anomalous images within large data sets has great value for applications from surveillance (e.g., airport security) to science (observations that don't fit a given theory can lead to new discoveries). Many image data analysis systems are turning to convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to represent image content due to their success in achieving high classification accuracy rates. However, CNN representations are notoriously difficult for humans to interpret. We describe a new strategy that combines novelty detection with CNN image features to achieve rapid discovery with interpretable explanations of novel image content. We applied this technique to familiar images from ImageNet as well as to a scientific image collection from planetary science.


Computer vision-based framework for extracting geological lineaments from optical remote sensing data

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The extraction of geological lineaments from digital satellite data is a fundamental application in remote sensing. The location of geological lineaments such as faults and dykes are of interest for a range of applications, particularly because of their association with hydrothermal mineralization. Although a wide range of applications have utilized computer vision techniques, a standard workflow for application of these techniques to mineral exploration is lacking. We present a framework for extracting geological lineaments using computer vision techniques which is a combination of edge detection and line extraction algorithms for extracting geological lineaments using optical remote sensing data. It features ancillary computer vision techniques for reducing data dimensionality, removing noise and enhancing the expression of lineaments. We test the proposed framework on Landsat 8 data of a mineral-rich portion of the Gascoyne Province in Western Australia using different dimension reduction techniques and convolutional filters. To validate the results, the extracted lineaments are compared to our manual photointerpretation and geologically mapped structures by the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA). The results show that the best correlation between our extracted geological lineaments and the GSWA geological lineament map is achieved by applying a minimum noise fraction transformation and a Laplacian filter. Application of a directional filter instead shows a stronger correlation with the output of our manual photointerpretation and known sites of hydrothermal mineralization. Hence, our framework using either filter can be used for mineral prospectivity mapping in other regions where faults are exposed and observable in optical remote sensing data.