A Novel Utilization of Image Registration Techniques to Process Mastcam Images in Mars Rover with Applications to Image Fusion, Pixel Clustering, and Anomaly Detection

Bulent Ayhan, Minh Dao, Chiman Kwan, Hua Mei Chen, James Bell, Richard Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Mars Science Laboratory is a robotic rover mission to Mars launched by NASA on November 26, 2011, which successfully landed the Curiosity rover in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012. The Curiosity rover has two mast cameras (Mastcams) that acquire stereo images at a number of different wavelengths. Each camera has nine bands of which six bands are overlapped in the two cameras. These acquired stereo band images at different wavelengths can be fused into a 12-band multispectral image cube, which could be helpful to guide the rover to interesting locations. Since the two Mastcams' fields of view are three times different from each other, in order to fuse the left-and right-camera band images to form a multispectral image cube, there is a need for a precise image alignment of the stereo images with registration errors at the subpixel level. A two-step image alignment approach with a novel utilization of existing image registration algorithms is introduced in this paper and is applied to a set of Mastcam stereo images. The effect of the two-step alignment approach using more than 100 pairs of Mastcam images, selected from over 500000 images in NASA's Planetary Data System database, clearly demonstrated that the fused images can improve pixel clustering and anomaly detection performance. In particular, registration errors in the subpixel level are observed with the applied alignment approach. Moreover, the pixel clustering and anomaly detection performance have been observed to be better when using fused images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7984783
Pages (from-to)4553-4564
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Anomaly detection
  • Mars rover
  • RANSAC
  • SIFT
  • SURF
  • image fusion
  • image registration
  • multispectral image
  • pixel clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science

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