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08.04.2014

3D Computer Tools Help In Rover Planning

This Navigation Camera image from Mars rover Curiosity shows a 2D image with part of the rover's deck (its 'back') toward the front and a slope in the terrain behind it. To illustrate how rover planners work with computer tools, three mock features of interest at the top of the slope are labeled in green writing.
Sample 2D Navcam Image from Sol 711 (August 6, 2014) with Mock Terrain Labels
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This image shows how rover planners take a Navigation Camera image from Mars rover Curiosity and covert it to a 3D rendering with a 3D model of the rover. To illustrate how rover planners work with computer tools, three mock features of interest are labeled in green writing.
Sample 3D Rover Model and 3D Navcam Image from Sol 711 (August 6, 2014) with Mock Terrain Labels
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Planning a rover's drive and activities takes a lot of thought! When Curiosity's Navigation Cameras (Navcams) take black-and-white images and send them back to Earth each day (left), rover planners combine them with other rover data to create 3D terrain models (right). By adding a computerized 3D rover model to the terrain model, rover planners can understand better the rover's position, as well as distances to, and scale of, features in the landscape. When rover planners identify possible rocks and other features of interest in the scene, they create labels with informal names (in green). These informal names let rover planners and science team members know they are referring to the same things in later discussions about the rover's activities and findings.


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