A team of JPL researchers has analyzed stereoscopic vision software and produced a document describing its performance. This software is of the type used in maneuvering exploratory robotic vehicles on Martian terrain. The software in question utilizes correlations between portions of the images recorded by two electronic cameras to compute stereoscopic disparities, which, in conjunction with camera models, are used in computing distances to terrain points to be included in constructing a three-dimensional model of the terrain. The analysis included effects of correlation-window size, a pyramidal image down-sampling scheme, vertical misalignment, focus, maximum disparity, stereo baseline, and range ripples. Contributions of sub-pixel interpolation, vertical misalignment, and foreshortening to stereo correlation error were examined theoretically and experimentally. It was found that camera-calibration inaccuracy contributes to both down-range and cross-range error but stereo correlation error affects only the down-range error. Experimental data for quantifying the stereo disparity error were obtained by use of reflective metrological targets taped to corners of bricks placed at known positions relative to the cameras. For the particular 1,024-by-768- pixel cameras of the system analyzed, the standard deviation of the down-range disparity error was found to be 0.32 pixel.

This work was done by Won Kim, Adnan Ansar, Robert Steele, and Robert Steinke of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .