2008

Automatic Rock Detection and Mapping from HiRISE Imagery

This system includes a C-code software program and a set of MATLAB software tools for statistical analysis and rock distribution mapping. The major functions include rock detection and rock detection validation. The rock detection code has been evolved into a production tool that can be used by engineers and geologists with minor training.

The software takes as an input an image of a scene containing rocks and produces as output a description of the rock population and associated statistics. Each rock is described in terms of location, dimensions, and confidence of detection. The input parameters are the image resolution (ground sampling distance, or the size of a pixel in centimeters), the Sun incidence and azimuth angles for analysis of the shadows cast by rocks to derive individual rock models, and a parameter than can be adjusted to accommodate variations in image contrast.

The software is able to process very large reconnaissance imagery using a standard desktop computer by automatically processing image blocks and collecting all output in a single rock population description file (RPDF). Pro - cessing time is in the order of minutes for nominal HiRISE images covering 6×12 km areas at 30 cm/pixel.

The test option allows small portions of the large images to be selected and processed. Alternatively, a specific image window can be processed by indicating its coordinates and size. In this mode, visual results (detections overlaid on the images) are provided in addition to the rock population file (RPDF). This option is useful to quickly allow verification of parameter settings, and the quality of the detection results.

This work was done by Andres Huertas, Douglas S. Adams, and Yang Cheng 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-45752.

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