Recently in NLSI (NASA Lunar Science Institute) Category

Apollo Zone Digital Image Mosaic and Digital Elevation Model Released

The "Apollo Zone" Digital Image Mosaic (DIM) and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) have just been released. These maps cover approx. 18% of the Lunar surface at a resolution of 1024 pixels per degree (approx 30 m/pixel). The maps are the result of 3 years worth of work by the ARC Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) to align and process more than 4,000 images from the Apollo Metric (Mapping) Camera, which flew aboard Apollo 15, 16, and 17.

To preview the "Apollo Zone" maps, download the following KML file for viewing in Google Earth :

Once you open that file in Google Earth you will have options to view these "Apollo Zone" maps overlaid on Google Earth's "Moon mode". The maps have also been uploaded to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project (LMMP) portal (http://lmmp.nasa.gov) and will soon be available for visualization and download via that site.

The "Apollo Zone" maps cover the following sites of interest: Apollo 15, Apollo 16, Alphonsus Crater, Rima Prinz, Aristarchus Plateau-2, Ina D Caldera, Sulpicius Gallus, Mare Crisium, Mare Smythii, King Crater, Tsiolkovskiy Crater, Aitken Crater, and half of Van de Graaf Crater.

The terrain model has an average vertical accuracy of 40 m/pixel and standard deviation of 37 m (compared to LOLA laser altimetry tracks). Over 46% of the covered surface has vertical errors lower than 25 m.

The "Apollo Zone" maps (image, elevation, hillside, colorshade, confidence and precision) were automatically generated using new computer vision algorithms developed by IRG:

- robust statistical sub-pixel stereo correspondence
- robust bundle adjustment and radiometric corrections for large-scale image mosaics
- orbital camera position/orientation estimation using interest point extraction
- photometric correction of exposure time, shadow removal and generation of seamless large-scale image mosaics.
- photometric method for reconstructing lunar albedo
- photoclinometric terrain reconstruction method that improves lunar DTM precision
- statistical method for multiple stereo digital terrain model mosaicking
- multi-view 3D terrain reconstruction
- DTM/LOLA alignment and lidar / image matching

These algorithms have been released as NASA open-source (Ames Stereo Pipeline, Neo-Geography Toolkit, and NASA Vision Workbench). Map processing was performed using the NASA Pleiades supercomputer. In addition to the Apollo Metric Camera images, the fully automatic map processing pipeline has also been used with data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) and by several planetary science groups.

This work was funded by the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project (LMMP). We gratefully acknowledge the support of our collaborators at NASA MSFC, NASA GSFC, JPL and USGS. Special thanks go to Ray French and Mark Nall for their support and leadership of LMMP.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff

LOIRP "Earthrise" Banner at the NASA Lunar Science Forum

This banner was printed out by Moon Express, a Google Lunar X-Prize competitor.

Keith Cowing, Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project co-lead. Photo taken by Nancy Atkinson from Universetoday.com

Video: Visiting McMoon's

NASA NLSI: "I stopped by to visit the folks at McMoon, more widely known as the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: moonviews.com/ More about the project below, but one of the cool parts is that the images are being restored in an old McDonald's at NASA Ames Research Center. Also note the nice geek touches like empty pizza boxes :) This project, LOIRP, is recovering decades old data, digitizing data from the Lunar Orbiter mission of the 1960's, thus bringing up the highest resolution data of the Moon from that time. This will greatly complement all the great Moon missions of this time, including the upcoming Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission launching in two weeks!"

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