An algorithm was developed that automatically processes images captured by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to identify and locate the presence of purgatoids in monochrome images.

Purgatoids are eolian bedforms that present significant mobility risks to wheeled vehicles on Mars. The algorithm employs a series of filters and image processing steps to enhance the images and isolate each purgatoid. Classification is finally achieved by applying a series of selection criteria.

This work was done by Paolo Bellutta of Caltech and Steven B. Wood of the University of Nevada, Reno for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The software used in this innovation is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Dan Broderick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to NPO-48331.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Automated Purgatoid Identification

(reference NPO-48331) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the April, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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