Spirit rover localization and topographic mapping at the landing site of Gusev crater, Mars

Rongxing Li, Brent A. Archinal, Raymond E. Arvidson, James Bell, Philip Christensen, Larry Crumpler, David J. Des Marais, Kaichang Di, Tom Duxbury, Matt P. Golombek, John A. Grant, Ronald Greeley, Joe Guinn, Andrew Johnson, Randolph L. Kirk, Mark Maimone, Larry H. Matthies, Mike Malin, Tim Parker, Mike SimsShane Thompson, Steven W. Squyres, Larry A. Soderblom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


By sol 440, the Spirit rover has traversed a distance of 3.76 km (actual distance traveled instead of odometry). Localization of the lander and the rover along the traverse has been successfully performed at the Gusev crater landing site. We localized the lander in the Gusev crater using two-way Doppler radio positioning and cartographic triangulations through landmarks visible in both orbital and ground images. Additional high-resolution orbital images were used to verify the determined lander position. Visual odometry and bundle adjustment technologies were applied to compensate for wheel slippage, azimuthal angle drift, and other navigation errors (which were as large as 10.5% in the Husband Hill area). We generated topographic products, including 72 ortho maps and three-dimensional (3-D) digital terrain models, 11 horizontal and vertical traverse profiles, and one 3-D crater model (up to sol 440). Also discussed in this paper are uses of the data for science operations planning, geological traverse surveys, surveys of wind-related features, and other science applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE02S06
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 20 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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