Image-Based Lunar Surface Reconstruction
For the creation of a realistic 3 meter-sized relief globe of the Moon, a detailed height map of the entire lunar surface is required. Available height measurements of the Moon’s surface are too coarse by a factor of 15 for this purpose. The only publicly available source of high-resolution information are photographic images from the Lunar Orbiter IV mission in 1967. We present a shape-from-shading approach to plausibly increase the resolution of existing low-resolution height data, based on a single high-resolution photographic mosaic image of the Moon. The presented reconstruction approach is designed to be robust with respect to frequent imperfections of the photographic imagery. Aside from the automatic reconstruction of a complete detailed lunar surface height map, we give a qualitative validation by the reconstruction of lunar surface details from close-up photographs of the Apollo 15 landing site.
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