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Dr. Robert Kooima, Friday, 7-10-15 July 11, 2015

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Dr. Robert Kooima, Friday, 7-10-15


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Guest: Robert Kooima. Topics: 3D moon & planetary body imaging and rendering. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Dr. Robert Kooima to the program to discuss his 3D imaging and software work, especially for the Moon and planetary bodies. Visit his website and www.kooima.net, then click on Applications, then click on Panoptic. This will enable you to follow along with our discussion. In the first segment of our 1 hour 22 minute program, Dr. Kooima started out by telling us how he developed the software he uses for his 3D renderings and images. Note that the software is freely downloadable from his website on the Panoptic page. Also, its Open Source and Dr. Kooima is interested in your feedback if you use it. His email address is on most pages of his website. Keep in mind if you do download the software, you still have to download the database & those are very large files as you will hear toward the end of the first segment. Dr. Kooima shared with us his motivation for doing this, then he explained the pixels and resolution and why the object needed to be spherical. Our guest was asked about side effects using 3D including Oculus Rift and here, our guest had much to say, plus he explained many of the problems by helping us to understand human brain perception. Listeners asked about computer power and faster speeds, latency and rover motion.

In the second segment, our guest told us about his YouTube channel and how to find it. He suggested we watch the “LRO & The Real Time 3D video as well as the “Tour of the Moon on the Oculus Rift.” BJohn wanted to know about the ability to image irregularly shaped objects such as Comet 67P. Be sure to listen to what Robert said about this. Other listeners wanted to know the ease of rendering 3D from the Moon or Mars, then someone asked about using all the radar and other data to create a 3D image of the surface of Venus through the clouds. Our guest talked about the complexities of atmospheric rendering and the fact that Moon had much more data available so it was by far the easiest to render. Dr. Kooima then brought up issues revolving the focus of an object as this is very important to the imaging. Another listener wanted to know if the path to this work was through computer science and graphics or astronomy. You might be surprised by his answer. Our guest also mentioned other software available including the USGS Isis Planetary Image Processing Software and the Celestia Planetary Software. near the end, I asked or guest where this field might be in ten years from now. Don’t miss what e said about the future, the time table, even the investment. Don’t miss his closing comments.

Please post your questions/comments on TSS blog above. You can reach our guest through his email address which is on most pages of his website.


1. J Fincannon - July 16, 2015

Interesting show. I was somewhat surprised that the guest said that LRO took NAC images only of certain sites. I would imagine it would be ~90% of the surface. WAC has already covered the Moon’s surface a number of times. But it must be hard to create a mosaic that makes sense. For one thing, the angle of the Sun creates a slew of shadows which are obvious in craters. Then the angle of the camera complicates things. A pointing down angle versus a slant angle create totally different effects. Also, there may be information in dark areas which cannot be seen if you concentrate on trying to display the bright areas nicely. If you are trying to look for differences in terrain, you need to handle that somehow.

The LOLA on LRO has been used to generate complex topographic maps which one could project images on. Many issues exist with registering images against this laser data.

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