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At one point in time[1], I hired a helicopter to act as a surrogate remote sensor doing data fusion with a ground robot. I flew as a passenger and told the pilot where to fly based on the ground robot's need for data.

Since we had to pay for the helicopter's time anyway, and the field trial was spread over two days, we left our equipment attached to the helicopter when it returned to its airfield that night. The next day we had a 78km long data set of LIDAR, GPS, visual imaging, and inertial measures, all from an altitude of about 25m giving us about +/- 2mm for the LIDAR's range data.

The sad end to this anecdote is that I have no idea what happened to that data. It's presumably sitting on a dusty server somewhere in academia.

[1] This point in time, as it happens: http://www.drtomallen.com/uploads/1/2/0/2/12026356/3361016_o...

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