Clark School Home UMD
ECE

News Story

All Things Considered explores icy waters with DEPTHX

All Things Considered explores icy waters with DEPTHX

George Kantor on location at the DEPTHX Mexican test. Photo credit: Dr. Marcus Gary, UT Austin. Thumbnail photo of the robot at the Wisconsin test (on home page) by NPR's Neil Greenfieldboyce.
George Kantor on location at the DEPTHX Mexican test. Photo credit: Dr. Marcus Gary, UT Austin. Thumbnail photo of the robot at the Wisconsin test (on home page) by NPR's Neil Greenfieldboyce.

National Public Radio's All Things Considered recently aired a segment on a multi-university research project in which ISR and ECE alumnus George Kantor plays a key role. Kantor is a systems scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and works in its Field Robotics Center.

The Deep Phreatic Thermal Explorer (DEPTHX) project is a $5 million, three-year, NASA-funded research effort. In addition to Carnegie Mellon, collaborators include the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Texas, the Colorado School of Mines, Southwest Research Institute, Stone Aerospace, Universidad de Nuevo Leon (Mexico) and Universidad del Noreste (Mexico).

The project is developing an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that could one day explore explore the liquid water ocean under the frozen surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. In the Spring 2008 issue of Systems Solutions newsletter, ISR featured one of the robot's first tests, exploring the unique biology of Mexico’s El Zacatón, the world’s deepest known limestone sinkhole.

The NPR story, which does not mention Kantor, covers another test for the AUV—operating in the icy waters of Lake Mendota in Madison, Wis. This is an environment more similar to the under-ice ocean on Europa. This version of the robot has been named ENDURANCE (Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-Ice Robotic Antarctic Explorer). After Wisconsin, the team hopes to take the robot to the more extreme environment of Antarctica for more testing.

The vehicle is equipped with a Doppler velocity logger, a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system, a depth sensor, and 54 narrow beam sonar transducers. It uses all of these resources together to perform simultaneous localization and mapping. Kantor’s research contributes to the robot’s control, mapping and navigation systems.

Kantor earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1999. His advisor was Professor P.S. Krishnaprasad (ECE/ISR). At Carnegie Mellon, Kantor teaches courses in robotic manipulation and controls and conducts research in control, sensing, and navigation for robotic systems.

| Listen to the All Things Considered story | Read our story from the Spring 2008 issue of Systems Solutions |

February 21, 2008


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Chellappa Elevated to AAAI Fellow

Workshop on Geometry of Collective Behavior organized by P. S. Krishnaprasad

Alumnus Matteo Mischiati is lead author of sensorimotor control study in Nature

Underwriters Laboratories President to Speak at Winter Commencement

ECE Professor Wins IEEE SPS Society Award

Ph.D. Student Guannan Liu Develops Novel Micro-Heater

Two ECE Alumni Elevated to IEEE Fellow

John Baras elected AAAS Fellow

News Resources

Return to Newsroom
Search News
Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk
Faculty Experts