Skip to comments.3D Scan of a Cave Network...Technology Could be Used to Map Out Lava Tubes on the Moon and Mars
Posted on 03/17/2018 3:07:50 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Pegasus Backpack, a wearable mapping solution that collects geometric data without a satellite ad synchronizes images collected by five cameras and two 3D imaging laser profilers, and the Leica BLK360 the smallest and lightest imaging scanner on the market.
In less than three hours, the team managed to map all the contours of the lava tube....to produce a 3D visual of all the twists and turns of the lava tube. The scan that resulted covers a 1.3 km section of the cave system with an unprecedented resolution of a few centimeters.
Santagata and the Virtual Geography Agency also turned their 3D visual into a lovely video titled Lave tube fly-through, which beautifully illustrates the winding and organic nature of the lava tube system.
In the six-kilometer dry section, the lava tube has natural openings (jameos), that are aligned along the top of the cave pathway. These formations are very similar to skylights that have been observed on the Moon and Mars, which are holes in the surface that open into stable lava tubes.
Such structures are considered to be a good place for building outposts and colonies since they are naturally shielded from radiation and micrometeorites. Lava tubes also have a constant temperature, therefore offering protection against environmental extremes, and could provide access to underground sources of water ice. Some sections could also be sealed off and pressurized to create a colony.
As such, exploring such environments here on Earth is a good way to train astronauts to explore them on other bodies. As all astronauts know, mapping an environment is the first step in exploration, especially when you are looking for a place to establish a base camp. And in time, this information can be used to establish more permanent settlements, giving rise to eventual colonization
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
Lava tube fly-through
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