From Event: SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging, 2017
The miniaturization of unmanned systems and spacecraft, as well as computing and sensor technologies, has opened new opportunities in the areas of remote sensing and multi-sensor data fusion for a variety of applications. Remote sensing and data fusion historically have been the purview of large government organizations, such as the Department of Defense (DoD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) due to the high cost and complexity of developing, fielding, and operating such systems. However, miniaturized computers with high capacity processing capabilities, small and affordable sensors, and emerging, commercially available platforms such as UAS and CubeSats to carry such sensors, have allowed for a vast range of novel applications. In order to leverage these developments, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has developed an advanced sensor and data fusion laboratory to research component capabilities and their employment on a wide-range of autonomous, robotic, and transportation systems. This lab is unique in several ways, for example, it provides a traditional campus laboratory for students and faculty to model and test sensors in a range of scenarios, process multi-sensor data sets (both simulated and experimental), and analyze results. Moreover, such allows for “virtual” modeling, testing, and teaching capability reaching beyond the physical confines of the facility for use among ERAU Worldwide students and faculty located around the globe. Although other institutions such as Georgia Institute of Technology, Lockheed Martin, University of Dayton, and University of Central Florida have optical sensor laboratories, the ERAU virtual concept is the first such lab to expand to multispectral sensors and data fusion, while focusing on the data collection and data products and not on the manufacturing aspect. Further, the initiative is a unique effort among Embry-Riddle faculty to develop multi-disciplinary, cross-campus research to facilitate faculty- and student-driven research. Specifically, the ERAU Worldwide Campus, with locations across the globe and delivering curricula online, will be leveraged to provide novel approaches to remote sensor experimentation and simulation. The purpose of this paper and presentation is to present this new laboratory, research, education, and collaboration process.
Sonya A. H. McMullen, Troy Henderson, and David Ison, "Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University multispectral sensor and data fusion laboratory: a model for distributed research and education," Proc. SPIE 10210, Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies X, 102100T (Presented at SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging: April 11, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262385.
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