Multi-spectral Vision Processing for the ExoMars 2018 Mission


Radiometric calibration is a key activity being undertaken for the science cameras which are part of the Panoramic Camera (PanCam) instrument for the ESA/NASA 2018 ExoMars mission. The PanCam instrument is designed to be the ‘eyes’ of the Mars rover and is equipped with two wide angle multi-spectral cameras (WACs) from MSSL, and a focusable High Resolution Camera (HRC) from DLR. To achieve its science role within the ExoMars mission, the PanCam must be able to generate terrain reflectance spectra to help identify the mineralogy of the Martian surface, and able to generate true-colour images of the Martian environment. These images will be scrutinised by scientists back on Earth for possible exobiology clues. Aberystwyth University (AU) is responsible for delivering the PanCam Calibration Target (PCT) which is an essential component for the science operations of the PanCam instrument. Its purpose is to allow radiometric calibration and to support geometric calibration check-out of the PanCam instrument during the ExoMars mission. Unlike other camera calibration targets flown to Mars, the PCT target regions are being made from stained glass. The paper describes the work undertaken during the design, early build and testing of the PCT, together with results from the baseline algorithms that have been designed and implemented to process the multi-spectral PanCam images.