Institute of Photogrammetry and GeoInformation Research Current projects
HRSC on Mars Express - Automatic determination of tie points (2009)

HRSC on Mars Express - Automatic determination of tie points (2009)

Team:  Dipl.-Ing. R. Schmidt
Year:  2009
Duration:  since 07/01/2001
Is Finished:  yes
Further information 116

Cooperation with:

Research Area:  Geometric aspects of sensors and images

Background and Goal

Mars is the only planet in our solar system on which there is a possibility to find life - past or even present. Furthermore Mars is a prime candidate for future manned missions and in the far future there is even the possibility of colonisation through mankind. At the end of 2003 resp. the beginning of 2004 the whole of six international missions to Mars will be launched and they will start a new era in the exploration of Mars.



In June 2003 the ESA launched the "Mars Express" mission at the Baikonur launch pad and after a six-month journey only it will arrive at Mars in December 2003. On board of "Mars Express" there are in addition to seven scientific instruments also a lander called "Beagle 2", which explores with the aid of several sensors the rocks and the atmosphere on the surface of the planet.


One of the seven instruments is the HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera), which images almost the whole surface of Mars in colour and stereoscopically in high resolution. For the orientation of the stereo images there are tie points needed, which should be extracted from the planetary image data automatically within this project.



Tasks and Methods
Within the scope of the "HRSC on Mars Express" project the automatic extraction of homologous image primitives from "Mars Express" image data should be realised. In particular the combination of HRSC- and SRC-Data, the possibility of using the MOLA-DTM as an approximation as well as the use of certain image primitives for the stabilisation of the results of the matching in textural weak areas should be investigated.
The automatic search for tie points should be done through the use of image pyramids and alternatively through the use of approximated image orientation and the MOLA-DTM. The automatic search for tie points is an advancement of the software HWMATCH1 which was developed for the project Mars '96. The automatic search for tie points is a vital requirement for the determination of the image orientation and for the generation of a high resolution digital terrain model through other Co-Investigators within "HRSC on Mars Express".