A report discusses a modification of the ICER image-data-compression algorithm to increase the accuracy of ranging computations performed on compressed stereoscopic image pairs captured by cameras aboard the Mars Exploration Rovers. (ICER and variants thereof were discussed in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles.) Like many image compressors, ICER was designed to minimize a mean-square-error measure of distortion in reconstructed images as a function of the compressed data volume. The present modification of ICER was preceded by formulation of an alternative error measure, an image-quality metric that focuses on stereoscopic-ranging quality and takes account of image-processing steps in the stereoscopic-ranging process. This metric was used in empirical evaluation of bit planes of wavelet-transform subbands that are generated in ICER.
The present modification, which is a change in a bit-plane prioritization rule in ICER, was adopted on the basis of this evaluation. This modification changes the order in which image data are encoded, such that when ICER is used for lossy compression, better stereoscopic-ranging results are obtained as a function of the compressed data volume.
This work was done by Aaron Kiely of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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