Process space imagery at home

January 17, 2010
NewSpace Watch
January 17, 2010

There is a continual flood of image data from the spacecraft probes sent out into our solar system. Only a tiny fraction of these often spectacular images can be properly analyzed, processed and posted on the websites of places like JPL. Emily Lakdawalla has written an article in the January issue of Sky & Telescope magazine about the growing amateur involvement in accessing and and processing such imagery, which might otherwise sit unseen in remote data banks.

See the articles:
/– Spacecraft Imaging for Amateurs – Sky & Telescope – Jan.14.10
/– Spacecraft Imaging for Amateurs (pdf) – Sky and Telesope – Jan.2010 issue by Emily Lakdawalla

Her article points to this example in which a raw image

was transformed by amateur image processing hotshots into this beautiful landscape:

( Data: NASA / JPL / Cornell; Processing: Michael Howard / Glen Nagle )

Lots of supplementary information and links are provided in Spacecraft Imaging for Amateurs: Hyperlink Supplement. See, for example, the forum Unmanned where people involved in such image processing activity share information and examples of their work.

Find lots of space imagery databases in the Multimedia section here.
Note that the article points to the Regional Planetary Image Facilities (RPIF), which is made up of an international system of planetary image libraries established in 1977.

These facilities maintain photographic and digital data as well as mission documentation and cartographic data. Each facility’s general holding contains images and maps of planets and their satellites taken by solar system exploration spacecraft.

These planetary image facilities are open to the public. The facilities are primarily reference centers for browsing, studying, and selecting lunar and planetary photographic and cartographic materials. Experienced staff can assist scientists, educators, students, media, and the public in ordering materials for their own use. For appointment information and operation hours, contact your nearest facility.

Read More


Related Articles


Is NewSpace India on the rise while Antrix Corporation wanes?

Thu Nov 21
Continue Reading