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Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2019-11
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gi-2019-11
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 26 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 26 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems (GI) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Creating HiRISE digital elevation models for Mars using the open-source Ames Stereo Pipeline

Adam J. Hepburn1,2, Tom Holt1, Bryn Hubbard1, and Felix Ng2 Adam J. Hepburn et al.
  • 1Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Llandinam Building, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DB
  • 2Department of Geography, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN

Abstract. The present availability of sub-decametre digital elevation models on Mars – crucial for the study of surface processes – is scarce. In contrast to the globally-available but low-resolution datasets, such models enable the study of landforms < 10 km in size, which is the primary scale at which geomorphic processes have been active on Mars over the last 10–20 Ma. Stereogrammetry is a means of producing digital elevation models from stereo pairs of images. The HiRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured > 3000 stereo pairs at 25 cm/pixel resolution, enabling the creation of high-resolution digital elevation models (1–2 m/pixel). However, only ~ 500 of these pairs have been processed and made publicly available to date. Existing pipelines for the production of digital elevation models from stereo-pairs, however, are built upon commercial software, rely upon sparsely-available intermediate data, or are reliant on proprietary algorithms. Here, we present and test the output of a new pipeline for producing digital elevation models from HiRISE stereo pairs that is built entirely upon the open source NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline photogrammetric software, making use of freely available data for cartographic rectification. This pipeline is implemented here on a research computing cluster, but can also be used on consumer-grade UNIX computers. The four output digital elevation models produced using the pipeline presented here are globally well-registered, with accuracy similar to those of multiple digital elevation models produced elsewhere.

Adam J. Hepburn et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
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Adam J. Hepburn et al.
Adam J. Hepburn et al.
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Latest update: 20 Nov 2019
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Short summary
Currently, there exist thousands of unprocessed stereo pairs of satellite imagery which can be used to create models of the surface of Mars. This paper sets out a new open-source and free to use pipeline for creating these models. Our pipeline produces models of comparable quality to the limited number released to date but remains free to use and easily implemented by researchers who may not necessarily have prior experience of DEM creation.
Currently, there exist thousands of unprocessed stereo pairs of satellite imagery which can be...
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