2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Steven Swanson


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been challenged to return to the moon. During an ocean capsule landing, various objects are jettisoned from the ORION capsule requiring a keep-out area for safety. NASA, as part of their stem outreach Microgravity NExT program is seeking an autonomous device capable of identifying items of interest on a live video feed to aid in situational awareness of search rescue personnel. These items of interest include astronauts in life vests, liferafts, and the capsule itself. The Boise State Undergraduate Research team has developed the Locating Camera for Aquatic Recovery (LOCATR), an integration of hardware and software fulfilling these requirements. The LOCATR physically consists of a processing unit and a webcam connected to the processor mounted on a tripod. The software utilizes a machine learning algorithm, YOLOv8, to detect the objects. An operator laptop connected to the processing unit will be shown a live video feed of tracked detected objects of interest from the webcam.

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