Integrated Photogrammetric and Photoclinometric Processing of Multiple HRSC Images for Pixelwise 3-D Mapping on Mars

Zhaojin Li, Bo Wu, Wai Chung Liu, Zeyu Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Images from the high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) is an important data source for retrieving 3-D information of the Martian surface. Photogrammetry has been widely applied to HRSC images to generate digital elevation models (DEMs). However, in circumstances of insufficient textures or severe atmospheric influences on Mars, photogrammetry may fail to generate DEMs of favorable quality. Besides, photogrammetry is not able to recover pixelwise geometrical information. Meanwhile, photoclinometry is a promising method to retrieve pixelwise 3-D information from image intensities. Few works in the past have explored the appropriate use of photoclinometry for HRSC data. This article presents an innovative approach of integrating photogrammetry and photoclinometry for pixelwise 3-D mapping of the Martian surface using multiple HRSC images. First, an effective photogrammetric strategy is developed to process multiple HRSC images. For images influenced by haze or aerosol problems, an automatic object-based matching algorithm is formulated to compensate for obvious flaws on the disparity map. Second, multiview photoclinometry considering atmospheric effect is developed to refine the photogrammetric DEM to pixel resolution. Qualitative and quantitative validations are conducted using two representative sets of HRSC images and compared with the reference data. The results show that the generated DEMs have good geometric consistency with the reference data, but offer subtle topographic details conforming to the original images. The proposed method provides a promising solution to exploit the HRSC images for 3-D mapping of the Martian surface with better resolution and coverage, which is of significance for future Mars exploration missions and scientific research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • 3-D mapping
  • High-resolution stereo camera (HRSC)
  • Mars
  • Multiple images
  • Photoclinometry
  • Photogrammetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrated Photogrammetric and Photoclinometric Processing of Multiple HRSC Images for Pixelwise 3-D Mapping on Mars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this