Source: News Bharati English30 Apr 2016 14:33:49

Washington, April 30: The surface of Mars including the location of Beagle-2 has been shown in unprecedented detail by UCL scientists using a revolutionary image stacking and matching technique.  

“As more pictures are collected, we will see increasing evidence of the kind we have only seen from the three successful rover missions to date. This will be a game-changer and the start of a new era in planetary exploration.” 
Exciting pictures of the Beagle-2 lander, the ancient lakebeds discovered by NASA’s Curiosity rover, NASA’s MER-A rover tracks and Home Plate’s rocks have been released by the UCL researchers who stacked and matched images taken from orbit, to reveal objects at a resolution up to five times greater than previously achieved.

A paper describing the technique, called Super-Resolution Restoration (SRR), was published in Planetary and Space Science in February but has only recently been used to focus on specific objects on Mars. The technique could be used to search for other artefacts from past failed landings as well as identify safe landing locations for future rover missions. It will also allow scientists to explore vastly more terrain than is possible with a single rover.

Co-author Professor Jan-Peter Muller from the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, said: “We now have the equivalent of drone-eye vision anywhere on the surface of Mars where there are enough clear repeat pictures. It allows us to see objects in much sharper focus from orbit than ever before and the picture quality is comparable to that obtained from landers.

The UCL team applied SRR to stacks of between four and eight 25cm images of the Martian surface taken using the NASA HiRISE camera to achieve the 5cm target resolution. These included some of the latest HiRISE images of the Beagle-2 landing area that were kindly provided by Professor John Bridges from the University of Leicester.