A computer program implements parallel processing for nearly real-time creation of panoramic mosaics of images of terrain acquired by video cameras on an exploratory robotic vehicle (e.g., a Mars rover). Because the original images are typically acquired at various camera positions and orientations, it is necessary to warp the images into the reference frame of the mosaic before stitching them together to create the mosaic. [Also see “Parallel-Processing Software for Correlating Stereo Images,” Software Supplement to NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 31, No. 9 (September 2007) page 26.]
The warping algorithm in this computer program reflects the considerations that (1) for every pixel in the desired final mosaic, a good corresponding point must be found in one or more of the original images and (2) for this purpose, one needs a good mathematical model of the cameras and a good correlation of individual pixels with respect to their positions in three dimensions. The desired mosaic is divided into slices, each of which is assigned to one of a number of central processing units (CPUs) operating simultaneously. The results from the CPUs are gathered and placed into the final mosaic. The time taken to create the mosaic depends upon the number of CPUs, the speed of each CPU, and whether a local or a remote data-staging mechanism is used.
This program was written by Gerhard Klimeck, Robert Deen, Michael Mcauley, and Eric De Jong of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-30630.