Norcross, US: ERDAS announced that the Italian space agency (ASI) is using ERDAS APOLLO to manage data collected from different space missions and deliver it for public consumption via a web portal.
As per the company’s press statement, ASI collaborated with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the Cassini-Huygens, Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) missions. The Cassini-Huygens mission primarily focuses on two of Saturn’s moons, Titan and Enceladus, as well as Saturn itself. So far, the mission has found evidence of heat and organic chemicals and the possibility of liquid water on the surface of Enceladus, indicating the potential for the formation of primitive life forms. Cassini, the orbiter component of Cassini-Huygens, carries 12 instruments which have returned a daily stream of data since arriving at Saturn in 2004. Huygens, the smaller probe portion of Cassini-Huygens, landed on Titan’s surface in 2005 and returns data about Titan’s vast methane lakes and hydrocarbon sand dunes.
The primary objective of the Mars Express mission is to investigate the basic characteristics of Mars. The Mars Express orbiter will create high-resolution imagery (10 meters/pixel) of the entire Martian surface and super resolution imagery (2 meters/pixel) of selected areas. It will also produce a map of the mineral composition of the surface at 100 meter resolution, map the composition of the atmosphere and determine its global circulation, determine the structure of the sub-surface to a depth of a few kilometres, determine the effect of the atmosphere on the planetary surface, and determine how the atmosphere interacts with the solar wind.
The Planetary Radar Operation Center (PROC) is an ASI programme designed to unify the operative centres of these missions, providing a single access point for the massive amount of collected data. Planetek Italia, authorized ERDAS distributor in Italy since 2007, assisted PROC in its search for a data management and delivery solution.
ERDAS APOLLO Essentials – Image Web Server was selected for the PROC programme because it can efficiently and quickly publish the radargrams and interplanetary maps. Now, after mission data is processed in the individual operating centres, ERDAS APOLLO will be used to catalogue it and publish it to the web portal. Then, the scientific community and the public at large will be able to access the data via GeoRSS and OGC web services such as WMS, WFS, WCS, and WMC.