Drones and Artificial Intelligence are helping track down meteors in remote parts of Western Australia | Technology

Drones and artificial intelligence are helping track down meteors in remote parts of Western Australia | Technology
Drones and artificial intelligence are helping track down meteors in remote parts of Western Australia 

Drones and Artificial Intelligence are assisting in the search for meteors in Western Australia’s far reaches

Researchers at Curtin University have discovered a freshly fallen meteorite after using new technology to collect landscape images with drones to precisely locate it on the vast Nullarbar Plain in Western Australia, then using artificial intelligence to scan the images.

The discovery at Kibo late last year was successful evidence for a new method that could increase the number of meteorites in particular, said Seamus Anderson, senior researcher and graduate student at the Curtin Space Science and Technology Center (SSTC). They pass through the observed atmosphere.

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“The drone, equipped with a camera, flies over the fall region and collects images of the fall area, which are sent to our field computer, where the algorithm searches each image for meteorites and similar features,” Anderson said.

“Although our algorithm has been ‘trained’ on data collected from previous meteorite searches, we have brought in previously recovered meteorites and indicated their landing site to generate local data that can be used for further training of the algorithm.”

“To find a meteorite usually requires a group of people to walk through a large expected area of ​​impact, but our new method requires about a tenth of the effort and time and its success rate is much higher, as we found and saved the meteorite.. at the moment.. within four days.”

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Anderson said the meteors tracked by the Desert Fireball Network (DFN) are special because they provide geological samples for specific regions of the Solar System and contribute to a broader understanding of Earth’s geology. The world of solar energy.

“New solutions, such as our drone technology, help make investments in space science and meteorite exploration more efficient and effective,” said Mr. Anderson.

“In addition to improving our understanding of the solar system, meteor studies have many uses. For example, meteorites often contain high concentrations of rare and valuable elements, such as cobalt, which are important for the development of modern batteries.”

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“With a better understanding of the distribution of extraterrestrial materials throughout the solar system, we can one day mine asteroids for valuable resources without searching for a limited number of asteroids on Earth, which could be in the process of destroying valuable ecosystems.”

“Other potential applications of our new approach using drones and artificial intelligence include wildlife management and conservation, where our models can be easily retrained to detect things other than meteorites, such as plants and animals.”

Source: Curtin University, phys.org, Direct News 99 

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