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|Title: ||Long-Range Imaging Radar for Autonomous Navigation|
|Authors: ||Brooker, Graham Michael|
|Keywords: ||millimetre wave radar;imaging;navigation|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney. Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering|
|Abstract: ||This thesis describes the theoretical and practical implementation of a long-range high-resolution millimetre wave imaging radar system to aid with the navigation and guidance of both airborne and ground-based autonomous vehicles. To achieve true autonomy, a vehicle must be able to sense its environment, comprehensively, over a broad range of scales. Objects in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle must be classified at high resolution to ensure that the vehicle can traverse the terrain. At slightly longer ranges, individual features such as trees and low branches must be resolved to allow for short-range path planning. At long range, general terrain characteristics must be known so that the vehicle can plan around difficult or impassable obstructions. Finally, at the largest scale, the vehicle must be aware of the direction to its objective. In the past, short-range sensors based on radar and laser technology have been capable of producing high-resolution maps in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle extending out to a few hundred metres at most. For path planning, and navigation applications where a vehicle must traverse many kilometres of unstructured terrain, a sensor capable of imaging out to at least 3km is required to permit mid and long-range motion planning. This thesis addresses this need by describing the development a high-resolution interrupted frequency modulated continuous wave (FMICW) radar operating at 94GHz. The contributions of this thesis include a comprehensive analysis of both FMCW and FMICW processes leading to an effective implementation of a radar prototype which is capable of producing high-resolution reflectivity images of the ground at low grazing angles. A number of techniques are described that use these images and some a priori knowledge of the area, for both feature and image based navigation. It is shown that sub-pixel registration accuracies can be achieved to achieve navigation accuracies from a single image that are superior to those available from GPS. For a ground vehicle to traverse unknown terrain effectively, it must select an appropriate path from as long a range as possible. This thesis describes a technique to use the reflectivity maps generated by the radar to plan a path up to 3km long over rough terrain. It makes the assumption that any change in the reflectivity characteristics of the terrain being traversed should be avoided if possible, and so, uses a modified form of the gradient-descent algorithm to plan a path to achieve this. The millimetre wave radar described here will improve the performance of autonomous vehicles by extending the range of their high-resolution sensing capability by an order of magnitude to 3km. This will in turn enable significantly enhanced capability and wider future application for these systems.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Brooker, Graham Michael;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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