Harris Corporation Software Processes Mars Imagery For Advanced Scientific Study

Press Release From: Harris Corporation
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2001

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), a world leader in advanced image processing solutions, announced today that it is providing software to help scientists and engineers gain a new perspective of Mars by creating the first high-resolution, image-based digital elevation models of the planet. The models, which are developed using images collected by the Mars Global Surveyor, will be used for detailed studies of surface features and to locate potential sites for future exploratory missions.

"Harris has a history of innovation in image processing technologies, as well as a long and successful association with the U.S. space program," said Bob Henry, president, Harris Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD). "We are very pleased to be playing a key role in a program that will expand our scientific frontier and ultimately lead to a new era of space exploration."

The Harris software utilizes algorithms to automatically and precisely process pairs of images and extract elevation data. These algorithms produce more than 250,000 elevation points for each image pair, covering approximately 45 square kilometers. The software is based on other highly successful image processing technology developed by Harris for the U.S. Department of Defense's National Imagery and Mapping Agency. MSNBC recently used a similar Harris product, RealSite[tm], during its 'Out of the Rubble' special feature to dynamically illustrate images of lower Manhattan in 3D.

Harris GCSD was selected last year by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) to develop the digital elevation models of Mars. MSSS designed the camera systems for the Mars Global Surveyor, which has been orbiting Mars since 1997, and is under contract to NASA through JPL for operation of the spacecraft. To date, the cameras have collected more than 78,000 images of the planet's surface.

Harris GCSD conducts advanced research studies, develops prototypes, and produces and supports state-of-the-art, highly reliable communications and information systems that solve the mission-critical communications challenges of its military and government customers, and provides the technology base for the company's diverse commercial businesses.

Harris Corporation is an international communications equipment company focused on providing product, system, and service solutions that take its customers to the next level. The company provides a wide range of products and services for commercial and government communications markets such as wireless, broadcast, government, and network support. Harris has sales and service facilities in more than 90 countries. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at

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