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 Planetary Robotic Vision Data Exploitation

The international community of planetary science and exploration has successfully launched, landed and operated about thirty human and robotic missions to the planets and the Moon. They have collected differing numbers of surface imagery that have only been partially utilized throughout these missions and thereafter for further scientific application purposes. Very few attempts have been made so far to bring these data into a unified spatial context (including the orbiter data available for most of them, in various quality and resolutions), or to exploit spatial relationships implicit in these images but not designed in the immediate scope of the individual missions.

PRoViDE will assemble a major portion of the imaging data gathered so far from vehicles and probes on planetary surfaces into an unique database, bringing them into a spatial context and providing access toa complete set of 3D vision products. The 3D vision processing will complement a front-end from a multi-resolution visualisation engine that combines various levels of detail to realize a seamless and immersive real-time access to dynamically rendered 3D representations of the captured scenes.

PRoViDE aims to

1. Complete relevant 3D vision processing of planetary surface missions, covering all relevantrobotic sites of recent and ongoing missions such as Surveyor, Viking, Pathfinder, MER, MSL,Phoenix, Huygens, and Lunar ground-level panoramas & stereoscopic & multiscopic images fromApollo and Russian Lunokhod and selected Luna missions, as far as available.

2. Provide highest resolution & accuracy remote sensing (orbital) vision data processing results forthese mission sites to embed the robotic imagery and its products into spatial planetary context.

3. Collect 3D Vision processing results and remote sensing products within a single coherent spatialdata base.

4. Realize the seamless fusion between orbital and ground vision data of recent, ongoing and futuremissions (e.g. MSL and HiRISE).

5. Demonstrate the potential of existing and forthcoming planetary surface vision data bymaximising image quality visualisation, based on a 3D publishing platform

6. Collect and formulate use cases for novel scientific application scenarios making use of the newlyintroduced spatial relationships and presentation means.

7. Demonstrate the processing & data base concept during independent MSL data evaluation &visualisation campaigns.

8. Exploit & bundle recent European (including Russian) and US initiatives in the field of PlanetaryRobotics Vision (PRoVisG, PRoViScout, a NASA SALMON project targeting to support ExoMarsimage-based localization, ExoMars PanCam, MER image-based localization, and similar actionsin the forthcoming MSL mission).

9. Realize on-line dissemination of key data & its presentation by means of a web-based GIS andrendering tool.

The major PRoViDE output are processed higher-level results (Digital Elevation Models & related orthotexture) from each of the covered celestial bodies in a coordinate system unique to the respective Planetor Moon, and additional textured point clouds on top of it from close-up vision data. These results will beembedded in a visual & geometric context derived from Orbit imagery, which can be visualised by arendering tool that allows seamless zooming from the whole Planet to the generated high-resolution 3Dvision products right down to sub-mm level.

Further PRoViDE output will include a data catalogue of relevant source images stemming from thementioned missions to be used for 3D reconstruction & panorama generation, including a set of relevantLunar surface images brought into the framework of the NASA Planetary Data System.

The technical and scientific outcome of the Project is made available to the academic community by means of a sophisticated real-time hierarchical rendering tool, and to the public by a web-based rendering interfacethat presents the PRoViDE processing results making use of selected rendering functions adapted foruse across the Internet.

A Summer School close to the end of the Project will allow students andmembers of the vision & Planetary scientific communities to learn about the PRoViDE project, evaluateits results and, most importantly, gaining a new insight into past, recent and contemporaneous roboticmissions throughout the whole Solar System.


This project is funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Community under Grant Agreement no. 312377.

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