Ricardo Monteiro from IT in ISCTE is going to do a 6 month internship in NASA to work with orbital images.
After giving his first steps as a researcher at IT in Leiria, while doing his Masters at the Instituto Politécnico de Leiria under the supervision of Nuno Rodrigues and Sérgio Faria (both from IT in Leiria, Ricardo came to IT in ISCTE, where he is currently doing his PhD in image processing under the supervision of Paulo Nunes (IT in ISCTE). The young IT researcher is currently working on developing a 3D model from a picture. “We are trying to improve the current Image formats for a new type of format, which is called a light field image", says Ricardo. This technology allows to choose a focal point in a given picture, and change its perspective. Having several perspectives of the same thing makes possible to generate a 3D model of the real thing. "We have a better 3D perception than we would have if we just took one photo. My goal is to improve the coding of this kind of images because they are much larger than normal", explains Ricardo.
At NASA, the IT researcher will be doing something similar. “I will be taking advantage of various points of view, in this case, orbital images, which are taken by satellite, - I think it will be from Earth, Moon and Mars - and try to take advantage of the these images´ information and satellite position so that, with a large number of images, it may be possible to create a topographic model of the planet, which will be used for planning missions and for exploration", explained Ricardo.
This internship is supported by the FCT under the Reimbursable Space Act Agreement between the FCT, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA for participation in the NASA International Internship Program. The internship will begin the next June 3 at NASA´s facilities in Mountain View, California.
Miguel Duarte, from IT in ISCTE-IUL, has won the first prize in the Fraunhoffer Portugal Challenge 2016, in the Best Ideas in the PhD category, with his work “Bringing Artificial Intelligence for Swarm Robotics Systems to the Real World”. Miguel stated “I am proud that the work of our group was distinguished among the best in Portugal”.
Under the supervision of Anders Christensen and Sancho Oliveira, both also from IT in ISCTE-IUL, Miguel Duarte has engineered a robotic control approach where 10 aquatic surface low-cost robots function has a swarm, cooperating with each other to accomplish several maritime tasks. For Miguel, this solution is not just cost-effective, but also a new way to approach maritime tasks. “We were able to make the robots function autonomously and to execute the scheduled mission in the territory".
On this 7th edition of the Fraunhoffer Portugal Challenge, between two categories (PhD and Master), there were a total of 70 works being judged by a panel of both national and international experts. ”The goal of this contest is to reward the ideas that are being developed at the level of applied research in Portugal, "said Pedro Almeida, a board member of the contest. An intent that is praised by Miguel Duarte, saying that ”Often the innovation needed to succeed in bringing an idea from paper into the real world turns out to be less valued in the academic world”.