Scientific publication

Geological Analysis of Martian Rover-Derived Digital Outcrop Models Using the 3D Visualization Tool, Planetary Robotics 3D Viewer—PRo3D

Publication from Digital

Robert Barnes and Sanjeev Gupta and Christoph Traxler and Thomas Ortner and Arnold Bauer and Gerd Hesina and Gerhard Paar, Ben Huber and Kathrin Juhart and Laura Fritz and Bernhard Nauschnegg and Jan-Peter Muller and Yu Tao

AGU100 Advancing Earth and Space Science , 1/2018


Panoramic camera systems on robots exploring the surface of Mars are used to collect images of terrain and rock outcrops which they encounter along their traverse. Image mosaics from these cameras are essential in mapping the surface geology and selecting locations for analysis by other instruments on the rover's payload. 2?D images do not truly portray the depth of field of features within an image, nor their 3D geometry. This paper describes a new 3?D visualization software tool for geological analysis of Martian rover-derived Digital Outcrop Models created using photogrammetric processing of stereo-images using the Planetary Robotics Vision Processing tool developed for 3-D vision processing of ExoMars PanCam and Mars 2020 Mastcam-Z data. Digital Outcrop Models are rendered in real time in the Planetary Robotics 3-D Viewer PRo3D, allowing scientists to roam outcrops as in a terrestrial field campaign. Digitization of point, line, and polyline features is used for measuring the physical dimensions of geological features and communicating interpretations. Dip and strike of bedding and fractures is measured by digitizing a polyline along the contact or fracture trace, through which a best fit plane is plotted. The attitude of this plane is calculated in the software. Here we apply these tools to analysis of sedimentary rock outcrops and quantification of the geometry of fracture systems encountered by the science teams of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. We show the benefits PRo3D allows for visualization and collection of geological interpretations and analyses from rover-derived stereo-images.