Title of Presentation: Integration of Orbital and Ground Images for Enhanced Topographic Mapping in Mars Landed Missions

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Kaichang Di

Organization of Primary Author: The Ohio State University

Co-Authors: Ron Li, Ju Won Hwangbo, Yunhang Chen


Abstract:  Mars orbital and ground data have been used to generate global and local topographic information for landing-site selection, precision landing, and surface operations in Mars landed missions. Before landing, topographic mapping of a landing site is performed using orbital data. After landing, ground imagers provide more detailed images that enable generation of high-precision local landing site maps. In the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission as well as in previous missions such as the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission, orbital and ground images have been processed separately for topographic mapping. A new technology to process the orbital and ground data in a coordinated manner, however, will provide an efficient means to resolve the frequent conflicts and inconsistencies of position and scale inherent in these different data sources.

We are developing methods to integrate orbital and ground images for enhanced topographic mapping. Digital terrain models and orthophotos of Victoria Crater at the Opportunity landing site and of Home Plate at the Spirit landing site have been generated from MOC NA and HiRISE stereo images and compared with those from networked ground images. A combined bundle adjustment of orbital and ground imagery will be used to reach the best possible accuracy for topographic mapping. Object recognition and selection using coordinated orbital and ground data will be used to support many tasks such as prelanding target selection, precision lander localization, onboard rover navigation and many others.