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Mapping caves off world

PostPosted: Mar 13, 2010 6:55 am
by DarrenOP
With so much interest at the moment in finding and mapping caves off world, such as on Mars (see one sample document at, what kind of equipment could possibly be used for this type of activity?
I was thinking about this earlier and considered whether radar could be used at different wavelengths to bounce of different materials at different depths, similar to the technique used for mapping the sea bed from orbit since people couldnt do this in person.
Then later robotic mapping using radar mounted on rovers before any kind of manned expeditions to do more detailed mapping.

It's a new area and I was interested to get views on how this could possibly be done.

Re: Mapping caves off world

PostPosted: Mar 14, 2010 10:17 pm
by Marduke
I used to work at an engineering office for an underground coal mine. While I was there, these guys came to talk to us about some tech they were trying to get money to develop. They essentially put a LIDAR system on an autonomous rover of sorts to make 3D maps of the tunnels. ... 2003_1.pdf

Re: Mapping caves off world

PostPosted: Mar 15, 2010 2:29 am
by DarrenOP
Many thanks, that's very interesting and useful.
I will go through that paper this week but it looks like a well progressed area of research and development.

Many thanks again.

Re: Mapping caves off world

PostPosted: Mar 15, 2010 12:54 pm
by JR-Orion
These guys make underground mapping probes-

The probes are made to go through utility tunnels of various sizes, so they might have to be changed to be more rover-like in order to get around in caves.