Martian Terrain Traversability Analysis from Orbital Imagery

Paolo Belluta
Jet Propulsion Laboratory - CA

The Mars Science Laboratory mission is the first to consider terrain traversability during the landing site selection phase. The HiRISE camera installed on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provides images of extraordinary resolution.

Image processing and machine vision techniques have been applied to these images to compute terrain traversability maps. These maps have made it possible to run complete missions to assess whether the rover would satisfy mission success criteria.

These maps and tools are now used to trace strategic paths to various locations of scientific interest.