Get3D Mapper builds a high-precision 3D reconstructed model of Comet 67P

3D reconstruction technology enables close-up exploration of space.

On 12 November 2014, Rosetta, a comet probe launched by the European Space Agency, released the Philae lander and landed on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P). -Gerasimenko (67P). This is the first time that a probe has been landed on the surface of a comet and the longest and most challenging deep space exploration mission in Europe.

Photo of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by the Rosetta spacecraft on 27 March 2016,
when Rosetta was only about 200 miles (329 km) away.

Build high precision comet models by 3D reconstruction technology

Get3D Mapper can process images captured by any camera to create 3D models. In this project, researchers used Get3D Mapper to build a 3D model of comet 67P. They used 5690 images of the comet taken by Rosetta. Get3D Mapper’s automatic matching and aerial triangulation techniques were used to recover the exterior orientation elements of each image. This allowed the researchers to determine the relative positions of the cameras on the spacecraft and the comet. They then used Get3D’s automatic reconstruction technology to build a high-precision 3D model of comet 67P.

To overcome the problems of insufficient image overlap and texture approximation of the comet surface model, Get3D Mapper optimises the image feature extraction algorithm to improve the pass rate of the null-three solver so that more photos can effectively participate in the calculation and ensure the quality of the null-three results.

Based on the 3D reconstruction of the results, Get3D Mapper automatically generates a highly accurate textured 3D model of Comet 67P.

The non-textured model

The textured model

Six orthographic views of the difference between SPC-SHAP5 and ours along the primary axes of the body-fixed 67P/C-G coordinate frame

By opening the model file in Get3D Viewer, the model can be viewed, rotated, labelled and measured for further astronomical research.

The comet model reconstructed by Get3D Mapper can be widely used not only in the fields of education and teaching and astronomy research, but also in universe exploration engineering.