Solar System Visualization (SSV) Project
Science Collaboration Testbed (SCT) Task


SSV Project Goal
Organize the data from Solar System Exploration (SSE) missions, discover new aspects of solar system behavior, test hypotheses against quantitative models, understand fundamental processes, increase the science return and reduce the risk of future space science missions. and increase public awareness of scientific results and mission plans.

SCT Task Goal
Adapt academic space science research and communications technology to: increase the science return from future Space Science missions, reduce the risks for future missions, and increase public awareness of science results and mission plans.

SCT Science Objectives
1. Organize the data from Solar System Exploration missions.
2. Discover new aspects of Solar System behavior.
3. Test hypotheses against quantitative models.
4. Understand fundamental processes,
5. Collaborate with other scientists and publish the results.
6. Develop science visualization, simulation, analysis, and collaboration requirements.

Science Plan
Assemble a small team of scientists who share these goals and objectives. Identify fundamental Space Science problems. Organize appropriate observations and models, adapt science research, algorithms, visualization tools, commercial communications technology and Interactive Analysis Environments, to achieve these goals and objectives.  Create the  Science Collaboration Testbed (SCT) in the Science Collaboration Laboratory (SCL),  and the Beowulf Analysis Testbed (BAT) in the Image Processing Laboratory (IPL) .  Integrate the SCT and BAT into the Mars Exploration and Outer Planets' Programs. Discover new aspects of Solar System behavior. Visualize these aspects and publish the results. The science team will work closely with SSE flight projects, the Planetary Data System (PDS), Planetary Photojournal Development, and SSV Technology Teams.


Beginning in January of 1999, the team initiated a half million dollar SCT /VAT  upgrade. This upgrade will enhance the  SCT /VAT  processing, communications, and data distribution capability. The SCT /VAT will be used to support Mars landing site selections, test operational readiness, and support operations, and reduce the risk for Galileo, Cassini and Mars  missions.


From October 1999 to September 2000 we will test science collaboration technologies on the SCT and BAT using spacecraft models and observations from MGS, MPL-SSI, MPL-RAC, and the MPL descent camera. We will create test mosaics, range maps, animation frames, web tools, and web pages to  display Mars  mission plans and science results on the  SCT, and BAT. These tools are being developed in collaboration with NASA's Next Generation Infrastructure Systems (NGIS) and Intelligent Synthesis Environments (ISE) Integrated Exploration and Sicence (IES) plan. They  include:

    1. Mars Net Viewer (MNV)
    2. Mars Visualization White board (MVW)
    3. Global Virtual Mars (GVM)
    4. Visualization of Mission Operations (VOM),
    5. Distributed Immersive Research Technology (DIRT)
    6. Interactive Terrain Analysis (ITA). 

In the future the SSV team plans to  develop: 1) a Desktop SCT (DSCT), and Desktop BAT (DBAT)  based on the LINUX and NT operating systems.  The DSCT and DBAT will provide stereo HDTV visualization and analysis capability on  low cost desktop systems for individual investigators and educators. The SSV team also plans to develop a prototype Inteferometry sensor modeling and measurement facility (ISMMF) at JPL.

Significance and Additional Content

Points of Contact

Dr. Eric M. De Jong  

Dr. Raymond J. Bambery 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

(818) 354-0302

(818) 354-2887


Prof. Andrew P. Ingersoll 

Technology Team

Jet Propulsion Laboratory


(626) 395-6167