Autonomous Mapping R&D with KTH

Together with the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), Spacemetric has received 7.6 MSEK for a three-year project for autonomous navigation support from real-time visual mapping. The project is funded by the Swedish National Aeronautics Research Programme (NFFP) through the national innovation agency VINNOVA within the national strategic innovation programme Innovair and is the result of collaboration between Vinnova, the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

Within the project, Spacemetric’s Daniel Sabel will conduct PhD studies at KTH, one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities. Daniel will study at KTH’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Division of Robotics, Perception and Learning (RPL). RPL performs research in robotics, computer vision and machine learning. Daniel will be supervised by Associate Professor Atsuto Maki and Spacemetric’s Dr Torbjörn Westin.

The project addresses challenges encountered in aerial positioning with visual mapping, including what type of ground reference data, such as aerial or satellite images, terrain models, and 3D point clouds, are best suited. It will also address what algorithms are best suited for computing position and orientation within demanding accuracy and time constraints. The outcome of the project will provide a foundation for the development of visual mapping-based systems. Such systems will be useful not only as a backup in cases where GPS positioning fails, but also for improving the accuracy of estimates of position and orientation of aerial vehicles.