Status Report

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Mars Color Imager (MARCI): A New Workflow for Processing Its Image Data

By SpaceRef Editor
November 18, 2021
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Stuart J. Robbins

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s (MRO’s) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) has returned approximately daily, approximately global images of Mars since late 2006, in up to seven different colors, from ultraviolet through near-infrared. To-date, that is over 5300 Mars days of data, nearly eight full Mars Years, or more than 15 Earth years. The data are taken at up to nearly 500 meters per pixel, and the nearly circular orbit of MRO and its consistent early afternoon imaging provide an unprecedented baseline of data with which to study Mars’ atmosphere and surface processes. Unfortunately, processing the MARCI data is difficult, fraught with exploding file sizes, issues that require workarounds in free software, and other problems that make this a severely under-utilized dataset. This paper discusses a workflow to process MARCI data to their fullest, including suggestions on how to work around issues unique to MARCI and its interaction with the current version of the free software ISIS (Integrated Software for Imagers and Spectrometers), and discussion of some trades that can be made to dramatically speed data processing are also described. Examples of processed MARCI images, mosaics, and color composites are shown, demonstrating the abilities of this workflow on global, regional, and local areas at the full, 96 pixels per degree scale afforded by MARCI.

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:2111.08891 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2111.08891v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Stuart Robbins 

[v1] Wed, 17 Nov 2021 03:56:38 UTC (17,123 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.