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Autonomous Guidance Over Three-Dimensional Field Terrain

Abdel Hameed, G. Sorensen


The objective of this paper was to develop a path planning approach to accurately guide a field robotic or an autonomous vehicle over 3D field terrain. The developed approach is based on the 2D path planning coverage approaches which provides the waypoints for navigation over 2D field terrain. For more accurate navigation, 3D field representation approach is developed in which the 2D field respresentation of the field is first obtained and then converted into a 3D field representation. THe information regarding the field topography needed for the generation of a 3D representation of the field terrain is provided by a digital file, called digital elevation model (DEM), consisting of terrain elevation for ground positions at regularly spaced horizontal intervals. The developed approach can be used for accurately guiding field robotics or autonomous vehicles throughout different field operations. It can also be used to optimize the robot or autonomous vehicle operations by optimizing the driving angle and sequence of tracks so that field operations are carried out in a manner which reduces fuel and its environmental implications as a result of the reduced emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

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