ExoMars PanCam 3D Vision 2021

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

The ExoMars 2022 mission will include a rover equipped with a deep drill and a novel suite of instruments - collectively known as the Pasteur payload - to perform geological and astrobiological investigations, including the collection of subsurface samples and their analysis to search for molecular biosignatures of possible life on ancient Mars. PanCam as stereo / multi-camera instrument is the main source of scientific mapping and geologic context provision, in ExoMars 2022.

Contents and goals

PanCam scientific goals include fulfilling the digital terrain mapping requirements of the mission as well as providing multispectral geological imaging, colour and stereo panoramic imaging, water vapour abundance and dust optical depth measurements.

3D vision is an essential component of the PanCam capabilities and ExoMars science added value. JR and VRVis during the past few years (and until end 2020) had supported instrument development with provision of 3D vision and visualization software in the frame of PRODEX contracts.


The PanCam-3D-2021 activity proposed here will complete the preparations for the mission 3D vision contribution until landing in April 2021, support Post-landing-to-Egress PanCam 3D vision operations and further will support mission operations until the end of the nominal mission over a 6 Months' period with a contingency until end 2021.

The activity includes the following items, being essential for ExoMars and PanCam mission objectives in the field of mapping, geologic characterization and ultimately quantitative analyses of the Martian surface:

  • Contribute to PanCam 3D Science Exploitation
  • Operate and maintain the 3D vision processing (PRoViP) and visualization (PRo3D) Software for PanCam
  • Enable and maintain the continuous use of PRoViP and PRo3D for ExoMars mission scientists and engineers
  • Preparation and tests of instrument collaboration with CLUPI [1], WISDOM, engineering cameras (NavCam, LocCam), Ma_Miss and ISEM in a geometric sense
  • Check / maintain / update geometric flight calibration of the instrument
  • Prepare and train scientific and engineering mission operations software support with downlink 3D data processing & quality control
  • Perform tools' training for instrument teams.

The project will synchronize with the PanCam Science Team regularly at PanCam Science Team workshops.

PanCam Lead Co-I Gerhard Paar from JR in his role as Cartography and 3D work group Chair will ensure that the instrument's 3D vision processing capabilities remain operational and maintained throughout the mission.

PanCam-3D-2021 will uniquely support non-nominal cases such as wide baseline stereo mapping, 3D data fusion with other instruments such as CLUPI, ISEM and WISDOM as well as satellite image data products, and intra-instrument data combinations between the PanCam Wide-angle and High Resolution cameras.

Expected results

The instrument's geometric calibration obtained in 2019 and 2020 under JR Lead will be continuously monitored and corrected in-mission if necessary. The PanCam-3D-2021 consortium will prepare the contribution to scientific publications as ultimate outcome from the PanCam science operations and data exploitation.

Project Partners


JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH

Project partner

VRVis Zentrum für Virtual Reality und Visualisierung Forschungs-GmbH

Contact Address

JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Leonhardstrasse 59
A-8010 Graz