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Category: Publications: Geospatial Research Laboratory (GRL)
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  • Deployable Resilient Installation Water Purification and Treatment System (DRIPS): Geoenabled Water Production and Disinfection Systems for Installations

    Abstract: The Deployable Resilient Installation water Purification and treatment System (DRIPS) was delivered to aid an Organic Industrial Base in increasing their Installation Status Report–Mission Capacity (ISR-MC) score from black to green as part of a Course of Action (COA) within their Installation Energy and Water Plan (IEWP). DRIPS was also intended to help them be better prepared for the future in meeting their water and energy requirement goals for sustainment of critical missions. The IEWP ISR-MC requirements were met upon implementation of this project. Overall, the purpose of the DRIPS is to be a critical asset in disaster response and military operations, providing a reliable and effective means of producing potable water and disinfection in challenging and unpredictable environments. Its adaptability, mobility, and comprehensive water treatment capabilities make it an invaluable resource for addressing water-related emergencies and water disruptions and for sustaining critical missions. It also addresses a point of need by improving the ability to meet demands, reducing convoy requirements and the logistical footprint, facilitating the endurance of expeditionary forces, and ensuring the well-being of affected installations during times of disaster response, training operations, normal water disruptions, and emergency preparation.
  • Rotorcraft Resupply Site Selection (RRSS) v1.0 and the USACE Model Interface Platform (UMIP): Documentation and User’s Guide

    Abstract: This research effort aimed to create an operational prototype of the Geomorphic Oscillation Assessment Tool (GOAT) v1.0, developed by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, as a part of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Model Interface Platform (UMIP). This platform is a web-based software that allows for easy and rapid construction and deployment of spatial planning and analysis capabilities. The prototype tool in UMIP represents the science embedded in GOAT while providing a user-friendly interface for interaction and spatially referenced result viewing. It also includes user access control, data storage, and integration with a long-term data management system, enabling users to access, share, and interrogate past analyses through profile management and result persistence. The prototype tool incorporates surface roughness into terrain suitability assessment tools used in the forward arming and refueling point (FARP) site-selection process.
  • Leveraging MOVEit for Object Inspection in Simulation

    Abstract: Herein we evaluate using a robotic arm with an attached camera to investigate objects of interest in simulation. Specifically, a Husky unmanned ground vehicle with a Panda Powertool was used in the simulation. The code enabled an operator to initiate a preconfigured set of motions when an object of interest was identified. The scan was stored in a database file that was used to generate a 3D mesh of the scanned object. The report describes both setting up the simulation and the code used to scan objects of interest.
  • Increasing the Degrees of Freedom on a Robot Arm

    Abstract: This report provides an implementation of the moveit-commander Python module to generate trajectories for custom six– and seven–degrees of freedom (DoF) arms. The moveit_setup_assistant package was used to modify an existing five-DoF OpenManipulator-X model to increase its range of motion. Specifically, additional joints were fabricated and mounted to the physical arm. Also, the Unified Robot Description Format files were modified to account for the additional joints. In order to optimize the solvers, many changes to the MOVEit configuration files were made. The changes documented in this report lay the groundwork for leveraging MOVEit to expand the capabilities of low-DoF arms.
  • Integrating MOVEit Motion Constraints on a Novel Robotic Manipulator

    Abstract: MOVEit, a widely used Robot Operating System framework, plans composite tasks, where the high-level sequence of actions is fixed and known in advance. However, these tasks need to be tailored and adapted to the environmental context. This framework uses custom trajectory planners, known as controllers, to solve goals that are fully defined within the configuration space. Libraries, such as the Open Motion Planning Library, provide a collection of motion planners that can solve task-space goals. An exact spatial and joint replication of the robotic manipulator’s mechanics, typically Universal Robot Description Format and Semantic Robot Description Format files, is required. Common arms such as the Panda-Manipulator and OpenMANIPULATOR-X provide these files in their respective public repositories, but custom arms require significant modification or even a complete rewrite of these files.
  • Establishing a Series of Dust Event Case Studies for East Asia

    Abstract: Dust aerosols have a wide range of effects on air quality, health, land-management decisions, aircraft operations, and sensor data interpretations. Therefore, the accurate simulation of dust plume initiation and transport is a priority for operational weather centers. Recent advancements have improved the performance of dust prediction models, but substantial capability gaps remain when forecasting the specific location and timing of individual dust events, especially extreme dust outbreaks. Operational weather forecasters and US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) researchers established a series of reference case study events to enhance dust transport model evaluation. These reference case studies support research to improve modeled dust simulations, including efforts to increase simulation accuracy on when and where dust is lofted off the ground, dust aerosols transport, and dust-induced adverse air quality issues create hazardous conditions downstream. Here, we provide detailed assessments of four dust events for Central and East Asia. We describe the dust-event lifecycle from onset to end (or when dust transports beyond the area of interest) and the synoptic and mesoscale environ-mental conditions governing the process. Analyses of hourly reanalysis data, spaceborne lidar and aerosol optical depth retrievals, upper-air soundings, true-color satellite imagery, and dust-enhanced false-color imagery supplement the discussions.
  • Energy Atlas—Mapping Energy-Related Data for DoD Lands: Phase 3—Data and Portal Expansion: Northeast CONUS

    Abstract: The DoD is a significant land user in northeast United States overseeing approximately 375 k acres of land with a total value of $113 B. The Department of Energy has found that major impacts from climate change will threaten energy infrastructure in the northeast US moving into the future. Current spatial information related to the energy resources and infrastructure on and adjacent to DoD installations can play a vital role in decision-making for sustainable and resilient installation planning in the region. The Energy Atlas (EA) portal provides a secure value-added resource to inform the decision-making process for current and future investment in installation infrastructure, energy management, and improvements to energy resiliency and sustainability. The EA aggregates spatial data for energy, infrastructure, and related environmental resources and facilitates access to that information through a secure online portal. The EA is hosted on a Common Access Card–authenticated portal accessible to DoD decision-makers and their partners through the Intelligence Community Geographic Information System (GIS) portal. The expansion of data coverage within the EA portal helps the DoD account for energy in contingency planning, acquisition, and lifecycle requirements in the northeast US and ensures facilities can maintain operations in the face of disruption.
  • Low Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWaP-C) Payload for Autonomous Navigation and Mapping on an Unmanned Ground Vehicle

    Abstract: Autonomous navigation and unknown environment exploration with an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) is extremely challenging. This report investigates a mapping and exploration solution utilizing low size, weight, power, and cost payloads. The platform presented here leverages simultaneous localization and mapping to efficiently explore unknown areas by finding navigable routes. The solution utilizes a diverse sensor payload that includes wheel encoders, 3D lidar, and red-green-blue and depth cameras. The main goal of this effort is to leverage path planning and navigation for mapping and exploration with a UGV to produce an accurate 3D map. The solution provided also leverages the Robot Operating System
  • Mapping and Localization Within a Mock Sewer System

    Abstract: Herein, we explored a robot’s ability to localize and map, both in simulation and on a physical robot, within a mock sewer system. Mapping and localization techniques were first developed and tested in simulation and were then transitioned to the actual robot for additional physical testing. Several odometry and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) techniques, including gmapping, SLAM toolbox, elevation mapping, and RTABMap, were evaluated for this particular environment. The results of the odometry and the various SLAM approaches are discussed in detail.
  • UGV SLAM Payload for Low-Visibility Environments

    Abstract: Herein, we explore using a low size, weight, power, and cost unmanned ground vehicle payload designed specifically for low-visibility environments. The proposed payload simultaneously localizes and maps in GPS-denied environments via waypoint navigation. This solution utilizes a diverse sensor payload that includes wheel encoders, inertial measurement unit, 3D lidar, 3D ultrasonic sensors, and thermal cameras. Furthermore, the resulting 3D point cloud was compared against a survey-grade lidar.