Planetary Science

3D reconstruction of the surface of Mars with a scale ruler
The 3D visualization tool PRo3D is ideal for collaborative geological research as well as for future mission planning in planetary science.

Highly detailed 3D reconstructions from satellite and rover instrument data enable geologists to analyze the geological properties of distant celestial objects such as Mars. Geological interpretations are an important part of this, providing answers to questions such as the history of planets, the probability of earlier water deposits or possible locations for bio-signatures. For this purpose, we provide interactive tools that allow comprehensive exploration as well as various measurements and annotations on high-resolution 3D models down to the smallest detail.

Developed to support NASA and ESA missions, PRo3D ("Planetary Robotics 3D Viewer") allows easy navigation through high-resolution 3D reconstructions of planetary surfaces with the ability to carry out extensive geologic interpretations.

Tunnel construction

Image of a tunnel visualization in the Geotunnel Viewer with different measured values.
The Geotunnel Viewer combines a variety of feasible annotation and analysis tools, such as comparing a geologic interpretation (embedded drawing) with deformation measurements (flags and lines).

For the construction of tunnels, it is essential to analyze exactly what the rock in which you are going to drill is made of and what its special properties are. This is a question of safety as well as of estimating costs and time. Digital systems that allow the annotation of high-precision 3D reconstructions of the working face are the ideal complement to on-site analysis.

The Geotunnel Viewer, developed in collaboration with our industrial partner Geodata, integrates information from sensor data with 3D scenes. The viewer creates a combined, user-friendly presentation of the respective geological conditions and also allows efficient comparisons. As special features, the interactive monitoring tool offers data-driven navigation to critical measurements, a virtual reality mode and embedded storytelling.

Classification of Spinel Minerals

Screenshot of the SpinelExplorer prototype of VRVis with many different views of visual data analysis.
The SpinelExplorer of VRVis combines the latest interactive visual analytics methods for the analysis of spinel group materials.

Minerals from the spinel group provide useful information about the geological environment in which the rocks were formed and therefore play an important role in the search for economically interesting mineral deposits. In cooperation with partners from Argentina, we were able to significantly improve the analysis and classification process of spinels: our solution requires only a few minutes to analyze minerals. It combines well-known principles of interactive visual analysis (e.g. coordinated multiple views) and diagrams that are usually used for analyzing minerals of the spinel group. A web-based solution is being developed by our partners in Argentina.

Our research work with spinel group minerals and the technologies we use for holistic interactive visual analysis has already been presented at prestigious conferences and as scientific papers. Most recent: M. L. Ganuza, G. Ferracutti, F. Gargiulo, S. M. Castro, E. A. Bjerg, E. Gröller, K. Matković (2017): Interactive Visual Categorization of Spinel-Group Minerals; SCCG '17: Proceedings of the 33rd Spring Conference on Computer Graphics; read here.