A Workflow for Novice to Intermediate Individuals Creating Digital Elevation Models Using the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline

  • Shelby Smith
  • Amber Patterson


"Terraced fans are an unusual sedimentary deposit on Mars. One way to analyze these features is by using digital elevation models, also known as DEMs. Creating a DEM is a complex process, however, and requires knowledge of Unix commands and familiarity with Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers (ISIS3). The steps needed to convert raw data from a satellite – in this case the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – into the appropriate formats can be time-consuming and computationally intensive.

The purpose of this poster is to document the process for making DEMs using data from the Context Camera (CTX; resolution 6 m/pixel) and High Resolution Science Experiment (HiRISE; resolution 0.3 to 0.6 m/pixel). While the United States Geological Survey has tutorials covering some of the steps, the workflow shown here is for novice to intermediate users who have never created a DEM before. Two flow charts are presented: one to document the production of a CTX DEM and a second to document the production of a HiRISE DEM. The products of these workflows will be used for geologic mapping of terraced fans on Mars."

Computer Science