Virtual Planetary Surfaces for Testing Vision Guided Planetary Landers

Thesis Author: 
Iain Martin

Iain Martin’s PhD research was very important in the development of the PANGU tool. Iain’s work showed that it was possible to generate realistic planet surface using a combination of idealised mathematical models and fractal techniques. The mathematical models were based on information from planetary science research so gave craters, for example, the correct form according to age and the conditions under which they were created. The fractal techniques were developed to transform an ideal smooth crater bowl into a rugged, realistic terrain model of a crater. Furthermore Iain developed techniques for making craters on top or next to other craters appear realistic.

Iain is now a lecturer in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee.