Astrogeology Science Center

Variety of products made at the Photogrammetry Guest Facility
Variety of products made at the Photogrammetry Guest Facility
USGS cartographer, Annie Howington-Kraus, working in the lab
USGS cartographer, Annie Howington-Kraus, working in the lab
LRO and Apollo data were combined at the lab to study change detection on the moon
LRO and Apollo data were combined at the lab to study change detection on the moon

Visit our Planetary Photogrammetry Guest Facility and learn how to make your own digital topographic models from planetary stereo images. Create topographic data for your own research, with minimum delay. The lab is available up to half of the year for planetary researchers, international scientists, and graduate students. No charge for use to NASA funded investigators. Training is offered. The lab was established by the NASA Planetary Major Equipment Program and operated by the USGS with support from the Planetary Geology & Geophysics Program.

What can I do at the Planetary Photogrammetry Guest Facility?

  • Work with multiple kinds of images in any combination
  • Quickly measure spot heights, height differences, slopes
  • Measure feature outlines for GIS
  • Produce digital topographic models (DTMs)
    • Make traditional contour maps with image data precisely aligned to them
    • Register images with subpixel accuracy for change detection
    • Make precise stratigraphic and structural measurements: strikes, dips, volumes, layer thicknesses
    • Make slope maps
    • Fit photometric models and make precise photometric corrections to images
    • Perform quantitative simulations of surface processes
    • Visualize geologic features and their relations in 3D
    • Make the topographic measurements and maps you need
  • Receive specialized training on digital workstations
    • Use the same system the USGS uses to make its topographic maps of the planets
    • Apply commercial photogrammetric software (SOCET SET from BAE Systems)
    • Adjusts images to ground control
    • Makes topographic models quickly by automatic image matching
    • Edit and refine topographic models interactively
    • Measure features and record 3D GIS data
    • Interfaces with USGS ISIS software

OK, Sign Me Up!

  • Send an email expressing interest to Dr. Raad Saleh, the Training Coordinator for the Planetary Photogrammetry Guest Facility: PlanetaryPhotogrammetry@usgs.gov
  • No fixed proposal format, but keep it simple and 1 page, please.
    • Your name and contact information.
    • Your planet and geographic area(s) of interest.
    • The camera(s) whose images you want to use (if you know, or ask for our suggestions).
    • A summary of your research goals and methods (just enough to let us assess whether the proposed images can provide the information you want).
    • Your schedule of availability. Allow time for on-site training (a full week), to collect data (length of stay depends on data to be gathered), and possible return visits to collect additional data.