Special Lecture on Planetary Science

  • 2014-04-30
  • Research

Leading scientists will explain how imagery from orbiters and rovers are processed and used for scientific analysis.

Fusing ground-level with super-resolution orbital views of Mars

Jan-Peter Muller & Yu Tao Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London

Since 2007, the availability of very high resolution imagery of the surface of Mars from orbit (25cm) from the NASA HiRISE instrument allows scientists to determine to high accuracy the location of rovers to tens of cm precision through the co-registration of common homologous features visible in onboard rover cameras which can be matched to those visible in orbital images. An example of this optical navigation will be shown for the MER-A (Spirit) and compared with the best accuracy achievable using incremental bundle adjustment (IBA). Recently a super-resolution restoration technique has been developed which allows 5cm imagery to be generated from multiple overlapping orbital HiRISE images. An example will be shown of the co-registration of the rover imagery with such a SRR image and examples of its application to the future exploration of planetary surfaces.

Contextualising and Analysing Planetary Rover Image Products through the Web-Based PRoGIS

Jeremy Morley Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

The international planetary science community has launched, landed and operated dozens of human and robotic missions to the planets and the Moon. They have collected various surface imagery that has only been partially utilized for further scientific purposes. The FP7 project PRoViDE (Planetary Robotics Vision Data Exploitation) is assembling a major portion of the imaging data gathered so far from planetary surface missions into a unique database, bringing them into a spatial context and providing access to a complete set of 3D vision products. Processing is complemented by a multi-resolution visualization engine that combines various levels of detail for a seamless and immersive real-time access to dynamically rendered 3D scenes.

Exploring Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover

Sanjeev Gupta and the Mars Science Laboratory Science Team Imperial College London

The Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, touched down on the surface of Mars on August 5, 2012 in one of the most audacious planetary landings ever. This car-sized rover has been successfully exploring Gale crater since then. Built to conduct an investigation of modern and ancient environments on the surface of Mars, this talk will describe the rover’s explorations and adventures, and discuss the latest findings. In particular, I will show how imaging of the surface geology enables us to reconstruct the environmental evolution of this part of Mars.


The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 312377 PRoViDE. This lecture is organized by the VRVis.


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