Digital photogrammetric analysis of the IMP camera images: Mapping the Mars Pathfinder landing site in three dimensions

R. L. Kirk, E. Howington-Kraus, T. Hare, E. Dorrer, D. Cook, K. Becker, K. Thompson, B. Redding, J. Blue, D. Galuszka, E. M. Lee, L. R. Gaddis, J. R. Johnson, L. A. Soderblom, A. W. Ward, P. H. Smith, D. T. Britt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This paper describes our photogrammetric analysis of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder data, part of a broader program of mapping the Mars Pathfinder landing site in support of geoscience investigations. This analysis, carried out primarily with a commercial digital photogrammetric system, supported by our in-house Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS), consists of three steps: (1) geometric control: simultaneous solution for refined estimates of camera positions and pointing plus three-dimensional (3-D) coordinates of ∼103 features sitewide, based on the measured image coordinates of those features; (2) topographic modeling: identification of ∼3 × 105 closely spaced points in the images and calculation (based on camera parameters from step 1) of their 3-D coordinates, yielding digital terrain models (DTMs); and (3) geometric manipulation of the data: combination of the DTMs from different stereo pairs into a sitewide model, and reprojection of image data to remove parallax between the different spectral filters in the two cameras and to provide an undistorted planimetric view of the site. These processes are described in detail and example products are shown. Plans for combining the photogrammetrically derived topographic data with spectrophotometry are also described. These include photometric modeling using surface orientations from the DTM to study surface microtextures and improve the accuracy of spectral measurements, and photoclinometry to refine the DTM to single-pixel resolution where photometric properties are sufficiently uniform. Finally, the inclusion of rover images in a joint photogrammetric analysis with IMP images is described. This challenging task will provide coverage of areas hidden to the IMP, but accurate ranging of distant features can be achieved only if the lander is also visible in the rover image used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1998JE900012
Pages (from-to)8869-8887
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue numberE4
StatePublished - Apr 25 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


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