Marsviewer 2008 is designed for quality control, browsing, and operational and science analysis of images and derived image products returned by spacecraft. This program allows all derived products (reduced data records, or RDRs) associated with each original image (experiment data record, or EDR) to be viewed in various ways, including in stereo, depending on the type of image.

The program features a pluggable interface called a “file finder.” This encapsulates knowledge of a specific mission’s filename and directory conventions, hiding the complexity behind each mission from the user, and allowing new missions to be added easily. Within a mission, different directory conventions can also be supported. This file-finder interface presents a similar interface to the user for all these missions and directory structures. All EDRs found for a given Sol are displayed in a list (optionally with thumbnail images) for the user to pick from.

Once an image is picked, a primary (vertical) tab pane allows the user to select the left or right image, left or right thumbnail, or stereo views. A secondary (horizontal) tab pane allows the EDR, or any of its RDRs, to be viewed. Most RDRs may be viewed independently, or as colored overlays on a background image. Each of the 41 RDR types has a display method appropriate for that type, and most have display parameters that can be adjusted.

The program understands two different image geometries (raw and linearized), and can show the actual pixel values under the cursor for every EDR and RDR matching the geometry type at once. Various display manipulations, such as zoom, data range, contrast enhancement, interval selection, and contour controls are available. Metadata (image labels) may be displayed and searched as well. The stereo display shows both left and right images simultaneously. It works either in anaglyph mode (red/blue glasses), or by using dedicated display hardware.

This innovation also covers the applications “jadeviewer” and “jade_overlayer,” which are closely related derivatives from Marsviewer. The “jadeviewer” application reuses the image display and visualization portions of Marsviewer without the file finder. The user directly specifies filenames and RDR type, and can then view the product as with Marsviewer.

This work was done by Nicholas T. Toole and Robert G. Deen of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The software used in this innovation is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to NPO-46698.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2011 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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