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An onboard data analysis method to track the seasonal polar caps on Mars

European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP

By:
, , , , , and
Edited by:
Battrick B.

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Abstract

The Martian seasonal CO2 ice caps advance and retreat each year. They are currently studied using instruments such as the THermal EMission Imaging System (THEMIS), a visible and infra-red camera on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft [1]. However, each image must be downlinked to Earth prior to analysis. In contrast, we have developed the Bimodal Image Temperature (BIT) histogram analysis method for onboard detection of the cap edge, before transmission. In downlink-limited scenarios when the entire image cannot be transmitted, the location of the cap edge can still be identified and sent to Earth. In this paper, we evaluate our method on uncalibrated THEMIS data and find 1) agreement with manual cap edge identifications to within 28.2 km, and 2) high accuracy even with a smaller analysis window, yielding large reductions in memory requirements. This algorithm is currently being considered as a capability enhancement for the Odyssey second extended mission, beginning in fall 2006.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
An onboard data analysis method to track the seasonal polar caps on Mars
Series title:
European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue:
603
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
First page:
265
Last page:
272
Conference Title:
i- SAIRAS 2005 - The 8th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space
Conference Location:
Munich
Conference Date:
5 September 2005 through 8 September 2005