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Open AccessArticle

Bioinspired Optical Sensor for Remote Measurement of Small Displacements at a Distance

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center, P.O. Box 1, M/S 269-3, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
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AerospaceComputing, Inc., 465 Fairchild Drive, Suite 224, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomimetics 2018, 3(4), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3040034
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Design and Techniques for Space Applications)
Identifying appropriate sites for landing a spacecraft or building permanent structures is critical for extraterrestrial exploration. By tracking the movement of land masses and structures on a planetary surface, scientists can better predict issues that could affect the integrity of the site or structures. A lightweight, low-cost, low-power bioinspired optical sensor is being developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center to remotely measure small displacements of land masses on either side of a fault. This paper describes the sensor, which is inspired by the compound eye vision system found in many insects, and the algorithms developed to estimate displacement. The results are presented for indoor and outdoor tests using the sensor to measure the displacement of a specially designed target that is located 0.35, 6, and 30 m from the sensor and is moved 10 mm to the left and right of a centered position, simulating the displacement of land masses on either side of a fault. Measurement uncertainties estimates were a few tenths of a millimeter when the target was located 0.35 and 6 m from the sensor. At the 30 m distance, corrections were required to obtain accuracies in the order of 1 mm. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioinspired optical sensor; compound eye sensor; optical displacement sensor; remote displacement measurement; fault creep measurement; structural displacement measurement; quasi-Gaussian signal processing bioinspired optical sensor; compound eye sensor; optical displacement sensor; remote displacement measurement; fault creep measurement; structural displacement measurement; quasi-Gaussian signal processing
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Frost, S.A.; Yates, L.A.; Kumagai, H.S. Bioinspired Optical Sensor for Remote Measurement of Small Displacements at a Distance. Biomimetics 2018, 3, 34.

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