This paper documents the application of several underwater robot mapping and localization techniques used during an archaeological expedition. The goal of this project was to explore and map ancient cisterns located on the islands of Malta and Gozo. The cisterns of interest acted as water storage systems for fortresses, private homes, and churches. They often consisted of several connected chambers, still containing water. A sonar-equipped Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) was deployed into these cisterns to obtain both video footage and sonar range measurements. Four different mapping and localization techniques were employed including 1) Sonar image mosaics using stationary sonar scans, and 2) Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) while the vehicle was in motion, 3) SLAM using stationary sonar scans, and 4) Localization using previously created maps. Two dimensional maps of 6 different cisterns were successfully constructed. It is estimated that the cisterns were built as far back as 300 B.C.


Computer Sciences

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