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Gigapan Voyage Remotely Captures First Underwater Panorama

The Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) remotely captured its first underwater panorama in Key Largo, Florida, in support of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) project. The panorama was captured using a new prototype underwater-rated Gigapan Voyage unit, consisting of a Sanyo 5400 HD Pan-Tilt-Zoom unit in a glass dome enclosure with custom-control software to remotely set and capture panoramas.

The panorama, “Aquarius,” by Ted Morse can be seen here.

BACKGROUND: Gigapan Voyage leverages technologies developed and spun-off by the GigaPan Project, a joint collaboration between the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG), CMU Silicon Valley, and Google. Although both GigaPan and Gigapan Voyage produce high-resolution panoramas, Gigapan Voyage is designed as an embedded system that can be configured remotely, while GigaPan requires users to have direct physical access to the hardware. Remote access is essential when Gigapan Voyage is mounted on mobile platforms or in hard-to-reach locations. Gigapan Voyage units are mounted on the ARC K10 rovers and two Space Exploration Vehicles (SEV's) used during the Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) summer field tests at Black Point Lava Flow, Arizona.

The purpose of the Gigapan Voyage project is to provide high resolution-imagery to scientists, mission operators, and astronaut crews during robotic planetary analog field experiments. Gigapan Voyage is a standalone panorama-capturing, stitching, and exploration system that is remotely controllable via a web interface. The underwater-specific work is in support of the NASA Extreme Environment Missions Operations (NEEMO) 15 tests that will take place from October 17-26, 2011. NEEMO 15’s primary objective is to test equipment and operational concepts needed for exploration of near-Earth asteroids.


TEAM: Terry Fong, Susan Y. Lee, Theodore Morse, and Eric Park

COLLABORATORS: Dominic Landucci (NEEMO) and William Todd (JSC)

Contact: Susan Y. Lee

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