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3D Planning on Mars
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3D Planning on Mars

August 9, 2014
Planning a rover's drive and activities takes a lot of thought! When Curiosity's Navigation Cameras (Navcams) take black-and-white images and send them back to Earth each day (left), rover planners combine them with other rover data to create 3D terrain models (right). By adding a computerized 3D rover model to the terrain model, rover planners can understand better the rover's position, as well as distances to, and scale of, features in the landscape. When rover planners identify possible rocks and other features of interest in the scene, they create labels with informal names (in green). These informal names let rover planners and science team members know they are referring to the same things in later discussions about the rover's activities and findings.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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