Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

HiRISE coverage of the Opportunity field site, version 1.0

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

18-11-2016 17:28 CST

Topics: Opportunity, amateur image processing, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, trajectory diagrams, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

After analyzing the HiRISE coverage of the Curiosity landing site, I thought it would be easier to analyze Opportunity coverage, because I'd developed some good strategies along the way. Although those strategies helped, it has turned out to be much harder to summarize the Opportunity coverage than it was to summarize the Curiosity coverage, and in fact this post was two years in the making. But I've finally done it: I've located all the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE images covering the Opportunity field site, and figured out which parts of Opportunity's mission each one covers, and where to look for the rover and other hardware. Hopefully this effort will be useful to a few of you, academics if no one else! I've titled it "version 1.0" because I'm hopeful there will be a few more images to add later (more on that below).

Opportunity on Endeavour's rim, sol 2712 (detail)

NASA / JPL-Caltech / U. Arizona

Opportunity on Endeavour's rim, sol 2712 (detail)

One reason that analyzing HiRISE coverage of Opportunity is more difficult is because of the direction that Opportunity traveled. Opportunity did a lot of north-south driving. HiRISE images are oriented roughly north-south. That can be a good thing, because one image swath can contain many hundreds of sols of traverse. But it can also mean that Opportunity's path often crosses into and out of an image more than once -- three times is common. Another reason that cataloging all the images has been a challenge is that they performed a huge number of repeat images of the area around Victoria crater, because they were interested in watching how Opportunity's tracks evolved over time, and now they are doing the same at the western rim of Endeavour, which is conveniently parallel to the HiRISE ground track.

It became clear that in order to develop a summary of Opportunity site imaging that would be of use to people in the future, I would need to focus on answering a specific set of questions. The questions I chose to answer:

  • Which grayscale images are the best ones for mapping the entire traverse?
  • Which color images are the best for mapping the entire traverse?
  • In what order did Opportunity enter the color images?
  • Which images contain hardware (lander, backshell, parachute, heat shield, rover)?
  • Which images contain hardware or tracks (or at least the places where tracks used to be) in the grayscale or color parts of the swath?
HiRISE digital terrain models (DTMs) and anaglyph images over the Opportunity field site

NASA / JPL / UA / Emily Lakdawalla

HiRISE digital terrain models (DTMs) and anaglyph images over the Opportunity field site
Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) are high-resolution topographic data computed from stereo pairs of HiRISE images. For Opportunity, there are only two DTMs, outlined in blue on this map. There are also two sets of stereo pairs that have been converted into anaglyphs for 3D viewing, outlined in green on this map. Finally, there is a stereo pair taken over Santa Maria Crater that has not yet been converted to an anaglyph, but could be, marked in purple on this map. Opportunity's traverse is marked in yellow.

Which grayscale images are the best ones for mapping the entire traverse?

For Curiosity, the answer to this question was obvious, because there were Digital Terrain Models that tidily covered all the past and planned future targets for the rover. This isn't true for Opportunity, because the landing site is mostly so incredibly flat that DTMs really aren't needed. There are only two DTMs, in the only two places where there is substantial topography: the area right around Victoria crater, and on Endeavour's rim. Here is the information about them:

DTMLeft image
Right image
Anaglyph
NotesOpportunity presence
Part of Area Traversed by the Mars Exploration Rover PSP_001414_1780
PSP_001612_1780
-- no anaglyph --
A teeny box around Victoria crater. Contains Opportunity in color in two spots on Cape St. Mary (sols 998 and 1013) Entered sol 917.
Exited sol 1691.
Endeavour Crater Western Rim ESP_018701_1775
ESP_018846_1775
Anaglyph
Begins just past Santa Maria crater, includes all of Endeavour's western rim. Entered sol 2556.
Still inside.

So: for the areas outside the DTMs, which images are the best for mapping the rest of the traverse? Although there are not DTMs everywhere, there are stereo pairs, which could theoretically be used to make DTMs in the future, and which have (in most cases) already been combined into 3D anaglyphs. Two anaglyphs cover most of the rest of the traverse. ESP_022380_1780 covers the area from the landing site to well south of Victoria, and ESP_012820_1780 covers the traverse's westward excursion from Victoria. There is still a gap over Santa Maria crater. HiRISE took two images in quick succession while Opportunity was sitting at that spot, ESP_020758_1780 and ESP_021536_1780; I don't see any reason why those shouldn't be an anaglyph, but for some reason, they haven't been processed into one. (There is one more anaglyph that does cover the traverse, but it's totally redundant with the Endeavour DTM, so I'm not listing it in the table, but it's PSP_010341_1775.)

AnaglyphLeft image
Right image
NotesOpportunity presence
Victoria Crater ESP_022380_1780
ESP_021747_1780
Contains landing site and Victoria crater. All of traverse, hardware, and crater is contained in extreme left side of image, to the left of the color strip. Entered sol 0.
Exited sol 1864.
MER Opportunity Location and Drive South ESP_012820_1780
ESP_011765_1780
Includes Victoria at extreme northern edge. Includes westward excursion of traverse, eastern path almost all the way to Santa Maria. Contains rover at two postions (sols 1783 and 1863). Entered sol 916.
Exited sol 2438.
(No anaglyph, yet) ESP_021536_1780
ESP_020758_1780
Fills the gap between anaglyphs that includes Santa Maria crater. Rover is at Santa Maria in two positions (sols 2465 and 2526). Entered sol 2383.
Exited sol 2616.
HiRISE color swaths over the Opportunity field site

NASA / JPL / UA / Emily Lakdawalla

HiRISE color swaths over the Opportunity field site
HiRISE images contain a central, skinny color swath about 1 kilometer wide. Since Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at Mars, it has fairly thoroughly covered the Opportunity field area with color images, with only a few gaps. The area around Victoria crater and the western rim of Endeavour crater were repeatedly imaged.

Which color images are the best for mapping the entire traverse?

In general, the traverse is fairly well covered in color, but there are a couple of surprising areas that are missing. On the other hand, there is an enormous amount of overlap in the region of Victoria crater, as well as in the short section of the east-west part of the traverse that is south of Victoria. But that turns out to be a good thing, because the tracks vanish over time.

I had hoped it would be possible to narrow down the choices here, but despite the amount of overlap, nearly every image is valuable for at least some part of the swath. And the way that Opportunity wanders in and out of the color strips along the traverse really complicates things. So in the middle of writing this blog entry I changed my question to a new one.

In what order did Opportunity enter the color images?

I will list them here in the order in which Opportunity entered the color portions of the swath. Images are listed multiple times where Opportunity exited and then re-entered them. There's an asterisk (*) next to the swath names where they're listed for a second time. There are only a few gaps; I have already gone to the HiWish website to put in requests for four images to cover the remaining gaps. One of the surprising things I figured out is that HiRISE has never imaged Opportunity's landing site, or its parachute, in color! That's my highest HiWish priority.

Image
Traverse coverage
Sol / Ls
Date
Emis.
Phase
Inc.
Notes and landmarks (mostly craters)
No color coverage of landing site, Eagle crater, through sol 81
ESP_013954_1780
Tracks 81 to 412
1949 / 305.7
2009-07-18
26.2
19
41.1
Fram, Endurance, heat shield, Alvin & Jason, Encounter Bay, Vostok, James Caird
PSP_001414_1780
Tracks 84 to 383
998 / 135.3
2006-11-14
17.6
70
54.4
Fram, Endurance, heat shield, Alvin & Jason
PSP_009141_1780
Tracks 92 to 360
1584 / 96
2008-07-08
0.5
56
56.4
Endurance, heat shield
PSP_005423_1780
Tracks 110 to 127
1302 / 318.6
2007-09-23
6
30.8
36.4
Part of Endurance
After Opportunity traveled southwest beyond ESP_013954_1780, there is a gap in color coverage from sols 412 to 912, including Viking and Voyager craters, Purgatory, Erebus rim, Etched Terrain, Jammerbugt, and Beagle crater. A return to a southeastward direction on the approach to Victoria crater brought it back in to heavy color coverage.
ESP_012820_1780
Tracks 912 to 1704
1863 / 251
2009-04-21
26.1
30.7
53.9
All of Victoria, through Crete
ESP_011765_1780
Tracks 916 to 1702
1783 / 200
2009-01-29
12.5
69.1
56.6
All of Victoria, to just before Crete
TRA_000873_1780
Tracks 917 to 957
Future 957 to 1691
957 / 115.3
2006-10-03
3.8
59.3
56.2
Rover in color. All of Victoria.
* ESP_013954_1780
Tracks 917 to 1691
1949 / 305.7
2009-07-18
26.2
19
41.1
All of Victoria.
PSP_001612_1780
Tracks 917 to 1013
Future 1013 to 1691
1013 / 143
2006-11-30
1.9
57.1
55.4
All of Victoria. Color data very low resolution
* PSP_001414_1780
Tracks 994 to 998
Future 998 to 1203
998 / 135.3
2006-11-14
17.6
70
54.4
Color barely nicks rover. Most of Victoria (misses western rim).
* PSP_009141_1780
Tracks 1028 to 1196
1584 / 96
2008-07-08
0.5
56
56.4
Eastern 3/4 of Victoria.
PSP_006847_1780
Tracks 1030 to 1194
1410 / 16.2
2008-01-11
3.8
43
39.3
Eastern 3/4 of Victoria. Color data discontinuous.
* PSP_005423_1780
Tracks 1082 to 1184
1302 / 318.6
2007-09-23
6
30.8
36.4
Eastern 1/2 of Victoria.
PSP_004289_1780
Tracks 1100 to 1184
1216 / 265.1
2007-06-26
10.1
39.8
48.8
Tracks have funny light color. Eastern 1/2 of Victoria.
Note: Opportunity's clockwise turn around Victoria crater marked the eastward limit of the traverse for a while. Upon leaving Victoria, Opportunity switched to traveling southwest. The rover left the above color images in the reverse order that it entered them, going back to ESP_012820_1780. Then it entered the images in the following order, moving southwest.
ESP_012754_1780
Tracks 1673 to 1813
1858 / 247.8
2009-04-16
2
51
52.9
Rather small image (doesn't recross traverse farther south). SW corner of Victoria, Crete, Ranger & Surveyor craters.
ESP_037109_1780
Tracks 1786 to 2015
3705 / 152.2
2014-06-27
0.1
56.3
56.4
Very low emission angle (no topographic distortion).
ESP_016644_1780
Tracks 1860 to 2038
2153 / 51.1
2010-02-13
0.9
48.5
49.1
Tracks very clear. Pebble Patch, Kasos. Includes east-west stretch Oppy drove back-and-forth: Block Island, Nereus, Nautilus, Shelter Island, Mackinac Island.
ESP_012253_1780
Future 1898 to 1946
1820 / 223.2
2009-03-08
25
33.7
57.9
Corner just barely nicks this part of traverse
Big gap in color coverage over the westernmost excursion of the traverse, sols 2038 to 2281. After traveling past Grand Bank, Marquette Island, Concepcion and San Antonio craters, Opportunity turned east, now traveling across the HiRISE images' short direction.
* ESP_016644_1780
Future 2281 to 2330
2153 / 51.1
2010-02-13
0.9
48.5
49.1
Juneau, Port Hardy, Monterey Bay, Kitty Hawk, Gravel Bank, Nowitna
* ESP_037109_1780
Tracks 2293 to 2349
3705 / 152.2
2014-06-27
0.1
56.3
56.4
Very low emission angle (no topographic distortion).
* ESP_012253_1780
Future 2326 to 2377
1820 / 223.2
2009-03-08
25
33.7
57.9
Gravel Bank, Nowitna, Cambridge Bay, Oilean Ruaidh, Los Angeles
* ESP_012820_1780
Future 2355 to 2404
1863 / 251
2009-04-21
26.1
30.7
53.9
Oilean Ruaidh, Los Angeles, Choc Bay, Port Stanley, Puntarenas, Southern Cross
* ESP_011765_1780
Future 2358 to 2402
1783 / 200
2009-01-29
12.5
69.1
56.6
Oilean Ruaidh, Los Angeles, Choc Bay, Port Stanley, Puntarenas
* ESP_013954_1780
Future 2375 to 2420
1949 / 305.7
2009-07-18
26.2
19
41.1
Los Angeles, Choc Bay, Port Stanley, Puntarenas, Southern Cross, Paramore, Golden Hind, Yankee Clipper, Intrepid
* PSP_009141_1780
Future 2382 to 2424
1584 / 96
2008-07-08
0.5
56
56.4
Port Stanley, Puntarenas, Southern Cross, Paramore, Golden Hind, Yankee Clipper, Intrepid
* PSP_005423_1780
Future 2393 to 2427
1302 / 318.6
2007-09-23
6
30.8
36.4
Puntarenas, Southern Cross, Paramore, Golden Hind, Yankee Clipper, Intrepid
* PSP_004289_1780
Future 2393 to 2428
1216 / 265.1
2007-06-26
10.1
39.8
48.8
Color is very poor quality in eastern half.
ESP_028459_1780
Tracks 2403 to 2438
3049 / 158.9
2012-08-22
1.6
55.8
54.3
Tracks beautiful! Southern Cross, Paramore, Golden Hind, Yankee Clipper, Intrepid, Hecla, Fury
ESP_022380_1780
Tracks 2405 to 2444
2588 / 287.4
2011-05-06
25.2
23.4
43.6
Tracks beautiful! Paramore, Golden Hind, Yankee Clipper, Intrepid, Hecla, Fury, Vanguard, Voskhod, Salyut
ESP_021536_1780
Tracks 2442 to 2526
Future 2526 to 2558
2526 / 246.1
2011-03-01
9.7
59.3
50.2
Rover in color, beautiful tracks. Salyut, Santa Maria, Bagua, Herschel
ESP_020758_1780
Future 2547 to 2581
2465 / 208.3
2010-12-30
18.2
71.4
53.2
Bagua, Herschel, Santa Barbara, Casper, reticulate terrain
Gap in color coverage, sols 2581 to 2600, including Freedom 7, Molly Brown, Skylab, Puerto Williams, Aquarius
ESP_018846_1775
Future 2600 to 2645
2320 / 127.8
2010-08-03
18.3
70
54.2
Gemini 4, Gemini 5, Gemini cluster, Funchal
ESP_018701_1775
Future 2603 to 2645
2309 / 122.5
2010-07-23
3.6
58.3
55.4
Gemini 4, Gemini 5, Gemini cluster, Funchal
PSP_010341_1775
Future 2621 to 2660
1675 / 139.6
2008-10-10
20.9
40.6
58.5
Gemini 5, Gemini cluster, Funchal, Milos, Duljo Point, Kalipayan, Pangangan Island, Pungtud Island
PSP_010486_1775
Future 2622 to 2660
1686 / 145.2
2008-10-21
4.7
53.1
57.3
Gemini 5, Gemini cluster, Funchal, Milos, Duljo Point, Kalipayan, Pangangan Island, Pungtud Island
The final swaths in the sequence provide extensive coverage of Endeavour's rim.
ESP_035408_1775
Tracks 2637 to 2739 & 3317 to 3576
Future 3576 to present
3576 / 89.7
2014-02-14
19.7
42.7
56.7
Opportunity at Cook Haven. Mariner 9 and Pathfinder craters. Color covers western side of Endeavour rim (doesn't cover most of Cape York).
ESP_032573_1775
Tracks 2658 to 3361
Future 3361 to now
3361 / 348.3
2013-07-08
4.4
29.4
33.8
Opportunity between Nobby's Head and Solander Point. Northern part of Endeavour rim (barely misses NE extreme tip of Cape York). Only covers as far south as Cape Tribulation.
ESP_036753_1775
Tracks 2658 to 3678
Future 3678 to now
3678 / 138.2
2014-05-30
3.5
53.5
56.6
Opportunity near Pillinger Point. Color covers most of Endeavour rim, barely to end of Cape York.
ESP_035909_1775
Tracks 2661 to 3614
Future 3614 to now
3614 / 107.2
2014-03-25
15
67.5
55.3
Opportunity just south of Cook Haven. Color frames almost all of Endeavour rim, very continuous; high emission angle spreads out wall of Endeavour.
ESP_047263_1775
Tracks 2670 to 4475 (discontinuous)
Future 4475 to now
4475 / 210.9
2016-08-26
4.7
47.2
51.8
Rover in Marathon valley (color just missed rover). Covers only eastern half of Endeavour rim; rover traverse wanders in and out of color area repeatedly.
ESP_012398_1775
Future 2676 to now (discontinuous)
1831 / 230.2
2009-03-19
8.3
47.9
55.9
Cape York in color; eastern portion of Endeavour rim; rover traverse wanders in and out of color area repeatedly.
ESP_021892_1775
Future 2692 to now (discontinuous)
2551 / 263.7
2011-03-29
13
58.6
46.7
Most of Cape York (misses Odyssey, southwestern tip); eastern portion of Endeavour rim; rover traverse wanders in and out of color area repeatedly.
ESP_024015_1775
Tracks 2692 to 2712
Future 2712 to 3323
2712 / 358.6
2011-09-10
5.7
39.3
33.6
Rover just barely in color, east of Odyssey crater; color covers most of Cape York

Which images contain hardware or tracks?

Images of the rover

Sol 957: TRA_000873_1780 (color)
Sol 998: PSP_001414_1780 (color)
Sol 1013: PSP_001612_1780 (color)
Sol 1216: PSP_004289_1780 (gray)
Sol 1302: PSP_005423_1780 (gray)
Sol 1410: PSP_006847_1780 (gray)
Sol 1584: PSP_009141_1780 (gray)
Sol 1783: ESP_011765_1780 (gray)
Sol 1858: ESP_012754_1780 (gray)
Sol 1863: ESP_012820_1780 (gray)
Sol 1949: ESP_013954_1780 (gray)
Sol 2153: ESP_016644_1780 (gray)
Sol 2465: ESP_020758_1780 (gray)
Sol 2526: ESP_021536_1780 (color)
Sol 2712: ESP_024015_1775 (color)
Sol 3361: ESP_032573_1775 (color)

Sol 3614: ESP_035909_1775 (color)
Sol 3678: ESP_036753_1775 (color)
Sol 4475: ESP_047263_1775(gray)

Images of the landing site and the backshell/parachute

Sol 998: PSP_001414_1780 (gray)
Sol 1216: PSP_004289_1780 (gray)
Sol 1302: PSP_005423_1780 (gray)
Sol 1584: PSP_009141_1780 (gray)
Sol 1949: ESP_013954_1780 (gray)
Sol 2540: ESP_021747_1780 (gray)
Sol 2588: ESP_022380_1780 (gray)
Sol 3705: ESP_037109_1780 (gray) (backshell only)

Images of the heat shield

Sol 998: PSP_001414_1780 (color)
Sol 1216: PSP_004289_1780 (gray)
Sol 1302: PSP_005423_1780 (gray)
Sol 1584: PSP_009141_1780 (color)
Sol 1949: ESP_013954_1780 (color)
Sol 2540: ESP_021747_1780 (gray)
Sol 2588: ESP_022380_1780 (gray)
Sol 3705: ESP_037109_1780 (gray)

Images containing tracks or places where tracks used to be (both gray only and with color)

Sols 0 to 998: PSP_001414_1780
Sols 0 to 1216: PSP_004289_1780
Sols 0 to 1302: PSP_005423_1780
Sols 0 to 1584: PSP_009141_1780
Sols 0 to 1949: ESP_013954_1780
Sols 0 to 1864: ESP_021747_1780
Sols 0 to 2572: ESP_022380_1780
Sols 92 to 2424: ESP_037109_1780
Sols 362 to 2153: ESP_016644_1780
Sols 406 to 957: TRA_000873_1780
Sols 522 to 1013: PSP_001612_1780
Sols 742 to 1410: PSP_006847_1780
Sols 912 to 1863: ESP_012820_1780
Sols 916 to 1783: ESP_011765_1780
Sols 929 to 1021, 1202 to 1813, 2335 to 2581: ESP_028459_1780
Sols 1673 to 1858: ESP_012754_1780
Sols 2375 to 2526: ESP_021536_1780
Sols 2383 to 2465: ESP_020758_1780
Sols 2614 to 3361: ESP_032573_1775
Sols 2623 to 2712: ESP_024015_1775
Sols 2361 to 2593: ESP_046485_1780
Sols 2375 to 2526: ESP_021536_1780
Sols 2383 to 2465: ESP_020758_1780
Sols 2589 to 3576: ESP_035408_1775
Sols 2614 to 3361: ESP_032573_1775
Sols 2623 to 2712: ESP_024015_1775
Sols 2629 to 3678: ESP_036753_1775
Sols 2656 to 4475 (discontinuous): ESP_047263_1775
Sols 2661 to 3614: ESP_035909_1775

Please feel free to let me know if this information has helped you in any way!

Some notes:

  • To find images, I went to ASU's Global Mars Data website and queried the HiRISE images using a box extending from 354.2 to 354.7 degrees east and -2.5 to -1.9 degrees north.
  • The following color image coverage gaps need to be filled:
    • Over the landing site and early traverse: gap bounded by ESP_037109_1780 on the west, ESP_012754_1780 on the south, ESP_013954_1780 on the east, and covering at least as far north as the extent of ESP_013954_1780.
    • Over the westernmost excursion of the traverse: color swath adjacent to ESP_016644_1780 and overlapping slightly, centered near the same latitude, does not need to extend so far in latitude (1/3 the height would be sufficient)
    • Over the final remaining gap: it looks a bit too wide for a single image. Gap is bounded on the west by ESP_020758_1780 and on the east by ESP_018846_1780. Centered at similar latitude and having similar extent as ESP_021536_1780 would work, although it might be nice to push the extent farther (to match extent of ESP_020758_1780) to pick up interesting terrain in area.
 
See other posts from November 2016

 

Or read more blog entries about: Opportunity, amateur image processing, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, trajectory diagrams, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

NGC 4100
The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
LDN 604 and GGD 30
Schiaparelli backshell and parachute landing location from HiRISE in color
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!