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Modern image processing of soviet Lunokhod panoramas

In the framework of the international project PRoViDE (Planetary Robotics Vision Data Exploitation - Use of survey data planetary robots) through the 7th framework program of the European Union, scientists from different countries carried out joint work aimed to provide a wide range of researchers easy access and collaborative processing of various data accumulated during robotic missions to various bodies in the Solar system (

MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (MExLab) Specialists actively involved in this work, having the experience of Moon mapping, including the use of modern data of the spacecraft Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which performed GIS mapping of the lunar surface sites associated with Soviet missions (in particular, the Moon-16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24).
In the PRoViDE framework in Laboratory performed the digital processing of archived moon images (panoramas), obtained in late 60's-early 70's of the last century in the Soviet robotic missions Lunokhod-1 (Luna 17) and Lunokhod-2 (Luna 21) and with probes (Luna-9, -13 and -20) [1, 2]. The description of extant records and their application for modern lunar studies, which include both fundamental issues, for example, the study evolution of the lunar terrain [3], and applied aspects associated with the planning of future Russian lunar missions [4]. Currently, approbation of the developed methods and technologies on the joint processing example of survey data of Lunokhod-1 and -2, launched from the lunar surface and orbital photography of the spacecraft LRO for the purpose of new large-scale mapping and geomorphic analysis of the lunar surface [5].

Сшивка панорамы из архивных фрагментов (Луноход-1)

Compiling panoramas from archive fragments (Lunokhod-1)

Приведение панорамных изображений к горизонту 

Bringing panoramic images of the horizon (because of the tilt of the panoramic camera relative to vertical horizon on the source panoramas distorted), the example panoramas taken of Luchador-2

During two missions the Rovers were received about 300 panoramic images with high resolution, but unfortunately, information about the survey points (coordinates and exterior orientation of the photos) was lost.
To restore lost information we offer artificial simulation images based on digital elevation model and the orthophoto (built in the Laboratory for the LRO NAC images) and possible observation points on the digitized path of the Rover. For this purpose we developed special software that helps to determine all the necessary parameters of exterior orientation characterizing images that were of importance for further processing. After comparing the obtained image with the original (horizon lines, craters, typical terrain features, etc.), we can assert that the original image was taken from a point that was used for the simulation.

Программное обеспечение, разработанное для искусственного моделирования панорам и определения элементов внешнего ориентирования изображений.

Developed software for artificial simulation of panoramas and determining the elements of images exterior orientation.


Work on modern digital processing of archival lunar panoramas supported by a grant from the PRoViDE project (Planetary Robotics Vision Data Exploitation, Grant Agreement No. 312377) performed in the framework of the 7th framework program EC (FP7/2007-2013, Space). The laboratory team also expresses gratitude to the Russian state archive of scientific-technical documentation (should say) for giving to research archival materials.


1. Первые панорамы лунной поверхности / Академия наук СССР.− М.: Наука, 1968.

2. Передвижная лаборатория на Луне Луноход-1. Т. 1, 2. – М.: Наука, 1971, 1978.

3. Basilevsky A.T., Florensky C.P., Ronca L.B. A possible lunar outcrop: study of Lunokhod-2 data. The Moon 17, 1977, 19-28.

4. Zelenyi L., Popovkin V. Russian solar system exploration program. Updated version. // The 4th Moscow International Solar System Symposium, 2013.

5. Козлова Н.А., Карачевцева И.П., Зубарев А.Э., Надеждина И.Е., Конопихин А.А., Коханов А.А., Патратий В.Д., Гаров А.С., Абдрахимов А.М., Оберст Ю. Новая цифровая обработка архивных лунных панорам для целей крупномасштабного картографирования и геоморфологического анализа поверхности Луны // Изв. ВУЗов. Геодезия и аэрофотосъемка. 2014. №2. С. 11-19.

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