J. Montgomery, J. McDonald
Oct 24, 2012
Journal name not available for this finding
Recent space missions have included laser altimetry instrumentation that provides precise high-resolution global topographic data products. These products are critical in analyzing geomorphological surface processes of planets and moons. Although highly valued, the high-resolution data is often overlooked by researchers due to the high level of IT sophistication necessary to use the high-resolution data products, which can be as large as several hundred gigabytes. Researchers have developed software tools to assist in viewing and manipulating data products derived from altimetry data, however current software tools require substantial off-line processing, provide rudimentary visualization or are not suited for viewing the new high-resolution data. We have adapted mVTK, a novel software visualization tool, to work with NASA’s recently acquired Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data. mVTK is a software visualization package that dynamically creates cylindrical cartographic map projections from gridded high-resolution altimetry data in real-time. The projections are interactive 2D shade relief, false color maps that allow the user to make simple slope and distance measurements on the actual underlying high-resolution data. We have tested mVTK on several laser altimetry data sets including binned gridded record data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter space missions.