This PhD thesis projects aims to analyse the existing state-of-the-art visual Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping (vSLAM) software, verify its suitability for robotics exploration on the lunar surface, identify challenges and optimize the software for potential shortcomings as the algorithms have been optimized for terrestrial applications. The main challenges on the lunar surface consist of the extreme lighting conditions of extremely dark shadows and extremely bright sunlight that is not filtered through an atmosphere, and the feature-poor environment. To mitigate the shortcomings of the purely vSLAM algorithm, additional sensors such as (solid state) Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) sensors, wheel encoders and IMU can improve the robustness and accuracy of the mapping process, making it more adapted for the lunar surface.
Duration: May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2025. 3 years