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Optical imaging systems at Mars and where we are headed

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, March 4, 2013 - 9:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Brian Hynek

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

NASA has put a lot of resources into studying Mars in recent years and optical imaging is at the heart of understanding the geologic, hydrologic, climatic, and astrobiological histories of the Red Planet. Mars' thin atmosphere allows high signal-to-noise imaging of the planet and I will discuss orbiter imaging systems, their capabilities, and results. Additionally, landed assets have distinct instruments for surveying the surface of Mars and have proved invaluable in interpreting the history of the planet. Yet we are at the dawn of a new era in imaging systems for Mars and I will talk about future prospects for planetary rover imaging and their utility over traditional methods. Specifically, colleagues in EECE (Wagner and Feldkhun) and I are developing a new imager for planetary rovers that overcomes many traditional problems with landed imaging assets, including rapid 3-D imaging of planetary surfaces, operations after dark, and autonomous navigation of rovers to enhance the science return.

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