Mapping

  • Science
    MIT scientists have developed software capable of analyzing existing satellite imagery to identify structures, significantly speeding up the process of deciding where to apportion aid in rural areas in the developing world. The system will be tested against existing methods on a project in India.
  • If a hanging portrait suddenly smiles back at you, it might be something you've eaten, but it might also be HenGenTou – a new light projection technique developed by NTT Communication Science Laboratories that magically brings static objects like paintings to life.
  • The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, as its name implies, is designed to help human crews fight fires in the close confines of naval vessels. In order to get to those fires quicker, it may ultimately receive some help itself from an autonomous drone.
  • On its third attempt, NASA has successfully launched its Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket. The orbiter is designed to take high resolution moisture maps on a global scale, mapping the entire planet in the space of only two to three days.
  • NASA has released global maps of six of the Saturnian moons. The system has been under the intense examination of the Cassini-Hyugens mission for the past decade, and the completion of the global maps represents the end of one of the legendary spacecraft's key mission objectives.
  • Science
    When an organization sets out to map the sea floor, it will typically use a device known as a bathymetric lidar. A team at Georgia Tech has now developed a cost-effective new system that they claim could lead to much smaller, more efficient bathymetric lidars, capable of being carried by a UAV.
  • Antarctic scientists have made big gains in our knowledge of Antarctic sea ice thanks to an autonomous underwater vehicle that produced high-resolution 3D maps beneath previously-inaccessible ice floes. The new data suggests the ice may be thicker and more deformed than previously thought.
  • An ambitious project at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii is rendering 3D models of sunken ships from World War II for use in keeping track of changes over time to their structures as part of an effort to bring greater insights to this tragic historical event.
  • When we first heard about the NavVis system a couple of years ago, it was being developed for indoor navigation. Now, the technology has been expanded to the point that it could give Google Street View a run for its money.
  • Science
    Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created a long-range, laser-based imaging device that generates high-definition 3D maps of objects at distances of up to 10.5 meters (35 ft) using an advanced LADAR system.
  • NASA is set to launch a new satellite with the capacity to measure soil moisture on a global scale. Once operational, SMAP will provide the most detailed and comprehensive moisture maps ever created, with an efficiency unattainable under current methods.
  • NASA has chosen five studies to advance to phase 2 of its Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. They represent the most promising technological concepts with the greatest potential to revolutionize the agency's approach to the building and operating of aerospace systems.