OPTIMIZING THE DISTRIBUTION OF TIE POINTS FOR THE BUNDLE ADJUSTMENT OF HRSC IMAGE MOSAICS
For a systematic mapping of the Martian surface, the Mars Express orbiter is equipped with a multi-line scanner: Since the beginning of 2004 the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) regularly acquires long image strips. By now more than 4,000 strips covering nearly the whole planet are available. Due to the nine channels, each with different viewing direction, and partly with different optical filters, each strip provides 3D and color information and allows the generation of digital terrain models (DTMs) and orthophotos.
To map larger regions, neighboring HRSC strips can be combined to build DTM and orthophoto mosaics. The global mapping scheme Mars Chart 30 is used to define the extent of these mosaics. In order to avoid unreasonably large data volumes, each MC-30 tile is divided into two parts, combining about 90 strips each. To ensure a seamless fit of these strips, several radiometric and geometric corrections are applied in the photogrammetric process. A simultaneous bundle adjustment of all strips as a block is carried out to estimate their precise exterior orientation. Because size, position, resolution and image quality of the strips in these blocks are heterogeneous, also the quality and distribution of the tie points vary. In absence of ground control points, heights of a global terrain model are used as reference information, and for this task a regular distribution of these tie points is preferable. Besides, their total number should be limited because of computational reasons.
In this paper, we present an algorithm, which optimizes the distribution of tie points under these constraints. A large number of tie points used as input is reduced without affecting the geometric stability of the block by preserving connections between strips. This stability is achieved by using a regular grid in object space and discarding, for each grid cell, points which are redundant for the block adjustment. The set of tie points, filtered by the algorithm, shows a more homogenous distribution and is considerably smaller. Used for the block adjustment, it yields results of equal quality, with significantly shorter computation time. In this work, we present experiments with MC-30 half-tile blocks, which confirm our idea for reaching a stable and faster bundle adjustment. The described method is used for the systematic processing of HRSC data.