Solar System Visualization (SSV) Project
Science Visualization Testbed (SVT) 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.

SVT Task Goal

Adapt entertainment industry visualization and computer web technology to: 1. Increase the science return from future Space Science missions, 2. Reduce the risks for future missions,  3. Increase public awareness of science results and mission plans.

SVT Technology Objectives

  • Develop, demonstrate, and validate new science data visualization technologies.
  • Develop, demonstrate, and validate new mission planning visualization technologies.
  • Develop visualization tools to compare results from simulations with observations.
  • Transfer SVT technology to the "Science Collaboration Task (SCT)."
  • Transfer SVT technology to the "Virtual Presence in Space (VPS) project."

Technology Plan

Assemble a small team of technologists who share these goals and objectives. Create the Science Visualization Testbed (SVT) in the Digital Image Animation Laboratory (DIAL). Integrate the SVT and BAT into JPL's Visualization and Analysis Testbed (VAT) in the Image Processing Laboratory (IPL). Develop and adapt new visualization and analysis technology. The team will work closely with SSE flight projects, and the SSV Science Team to adapt computer and entertainment industry visualization and web technology to achieve these goals and objectives.


In 1996 the SSV team initiated a one million dollar SVT/VAT  hardware and software upgrade, designed to enhance NTSC video, stereo HDTV, and communications for MPF, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), and New Millennium Program (NMP) DS2 operations. This upgrade was completed in 1997 three months before the MPF landing. Beginning in January of 1999, the team initiated a half million dollar SVT /VAT  upgrade. This upgrade is being undertaken in collaboration with the Mars Exploration and Outer Planets' Programs and will enhance the  SVT /VAT digital HDTV and video capability. The new SVT /VAT will be used to support Mars landing site selections, test operational readiness, and support operations, and reduce the risk for the Galileo, Cassini, and Mars  missions.

Status and Future Plans

From October 1999 to September 2000 we will test visualization  technology on the SCT using spacecraft models and observations from Galileo, MGS, MPL-SSI, MPL-RAC, and the MPL descent camera. We will work with the Outer Planets and Mars  Exploration programs and adapt this technology  to  create images, and animations which display science results and mission plans. The products will include: 1. Automated mosaics, 2. Color panorama prints. 3. Stereo panorama prints, 4. Light box displays. 5. NTSC & HDTV  animations. Images will be provided to NASA's  Planetary Photojournal, animations to JPL's Audio Visual Library.

Significance and Additional Content

Magazine Covers

USA Today







Mars Polar Lander  Launch

SRTM Over the Earth 

SRTM orbits the Earth 




Mars Polar Lander  Arrival at Mars

    Zoom into Mars,    Mars Pathfinder

Worms on Mars




Deep Impact Mosaic

Rings of Jupiter

Galileo at IO




SSV Animations Page

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