2008

Delivering Images for Mars Rover Science Planning

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

A methodology has been developed for delivering, via the Internet, images transmitted to Earth from cameras on the Mars Explorer Rovers, the Phoenix Mars Lander, the Mars Science Laboratory, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. The images in question are used by geographically dispersed scientists and engineers in planning Rover scientific activities and Rover maneuvers pertinent thereto.

The methodology, which effects a compromise among levels of image detail, fidelity, and delivery speed, combines image compression with an adaptive level-of-detail image-delivery strategy that scales very well up to larger images that can include mosaic and high-resolution orbital images. In this methodology, images are tiled at multiple levels of detail. An image-browsing application program makes requests for tiles instead of entire images, thereby greatly accelerating delivery of images. At one extreme, a tile could contain a low-resolution representation of what originated as a large mosaic or high-resolution image. At the other extreme, a tile could contain a high-resolution representation of a small portion of a large image. For either extreme or for an intermediate case, rather than waste time transmitting data that are not used, only tiles that fill users’ screens are delivered.

This work was done by Mark W. Powell, Thomas M. Crockett. Joseph C. Joswig, Jeffrey S. Norris, Khawaja S. Shams, Jason M. Fox, and Recaredo Jay Torres of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The software used in this innovation is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Karina Edmonds of the California Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322. Refer to NPO-45671.