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Doug Ellison from UnmannedSpaceflight.com has done it again… and again… and again. Here are new Mars flyover videos Doug has created from data from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Using DEM (Digital Elevation Model)– (also known as DTM Digital Terrain Model) files provided by the HiRISE team, Doug is able to render 3-D movies of a specific location on Mars. Since he is using actual high-resolution data from HiRISE, Doug says the terrain seen in the movies has accurate vertical scaling and is not exaggerated. These new views of the Red Planet are also stunningly beautiful! The video above is of the Mojave Crater wall on Mars, and below is Athabasca Valles. And Doug says more are on the way! If you recall, Doug created the flyover video of the Spirit rover’s location that was on Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Doug says he is working on videos of Gale Crater, Bahram Vallis, Candor Chasma, Juventae Chasma, and more. “I’m drowning in data!” he said via Twitter.
DEMs are a grid, or raster, file describing elevation values at regularly spaced points, or posts. HiRISE DEMs are made from two high-resolution images of the same area, taken from different look angles by the spacecraft. The HiRISE folks say that creating a DEM is complicated and involves sophisticated software and a lot of time, both computing time and man-hours.
However, DEMs aren’t just for making amazing movies or stunning 3-D images. DEMs are very powerful research tools, used to take measurements and model geological processes. In fact, almost every HiRISE DEM produced results in a published paper.
Take a look at the DEM image and files from which the top video of Mojave Crater was made.
Read more about DEM files here from the HiRISE website.
And be sure to visit UnmannedSpaceflight.com to see all the wonderful images and videos created by Doug and many other very talented and avid fans of spaceflight.