HDR from MARS!


The Phoenix probe landed on the northern plains of Mars on May 25th 2008, 23:53:44 GMT, at latitude higher than the Martian polar circle. It's main mission is to find and characterise Martian permafrost that, according to measurements done from the orbit, should be located several centimeters below the surface. To do so Phoenix is equipped with an arm with a scoop, several cameras, mini ovens, detectors and many other scientific systems.

The artist impression of the Phoenix lander

It appears that Phoenix didn't even have to start digging to photograph the ice. It appears that a patch of ice has been uncovered by the landing system thrusters exhaust. However it is not yet determined if it is ice, because the scoop is not able to reach below the lander. Digging with the arm in a different location will give the answer.

The photos shown below can be found among the SOL-8 RAW imagery (SOL is a Martian day that is about 24 hours and 40 minutes long). These are pictures taken by the Robotic Arm Camera that show the ground below the lander. Part of the area is in the lander's shadow, so the science team decided to take 3 shots at different exposure times to get the full High Dynamic Range view of the entire frame. The exposure parameters can be found in the file headers (plain text).

Under the Phoenix Mars lander

Under the Phoenix Mars lander

Under the Phoenix Mars lander
RAW photos taken by the RAC camera mounted on the robotic arm of the Phoenix spacecraft. The Exposure Value calculator was used to calculate the necessary data. The Exposure Values are as follows: +1.25, 0.00 and -2.07.

By using easyHDR we can get the tone mapped HDR radiance map of the photographed scene, that contains details in both, shadows and highlights, in a single picture.

Under the Phoenix Mars lander - HDR generated and tone mapped with easyHDR
Tone mapped result using the global operator only.

Under the Phoenix Mars lander - HDR generated and tone mapped with easyHDR
Tone mapped result using the global and local operator.

Phoenix mission is led by University of Arizona, Tuscon, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.


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Current easyHDR version
3.9   (07.06.2016)