EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Innovative visualization and analysis capabilities to advance scientific discovery

Emily Law1, Brian Day2, and the Solar System Treks Project Team*
Emily Law and Brian Day and the Solar System Treks Project Team
  • 1NASA JPL, Pasadena, United States of America (
  • 2NASA ARC, Mountain View, United States (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

NASA’s Solar System Treks program produces a suite of interactive visualization and AI/data science analysis tools. These tools enable mission planners, planetary scientists, and engineers to access geospatial data products derived from big data returned from a wide range of instruments aboard a variety of past and current missions, for a growing number of planetary bodies.

The portals provide easy-to-use tools for browse, search and the ability to overlay a growing range and large amount of value added data products. Data products can be viewed in 2D and 3D, in VR and can be easily integrated by stacking and blending together rendering optimal visualization. Data sets can be plotted and compared against each other. Standard gaming and 3D mouse controllers allow users to maneuver first-person visualizations of flying across planetary surfaces.

The portals provide a set of advanced analysis tools that employed AI and data science methods. The tools facilitate measurement and study of terrain including distance, height, and depth of surface features. They allow users to perform analyses such as lighting and local hazard assessments including slope, surface roughness and crater/boulder distribution, rockfall distribution, and surface electrostatic potential. These tools faciliate a wide range of activities including the planning, design, development, test and operations associated with lunar sortie missions; robotic (and potentially crewed) operations on the surface; planning tasks in the areas of landing site evaluation and selection; design and placement of landers and other stationary assets; design of rovers and other mobile assets; developing terrain-relative navigation (TRN) capabilities; deorbit/impact site visualization; and assessment and planning of science traverses. Additional tools useful scientific research are under development such as line of sight calculation.

Seven portals are publicly available to explore the Moon, Mars, Vesta, Ceres, Titan, IcyMoons, and Mercury with more portals in development and planning stages.

This presentation will provide an overview of the Solar System Treks and highlight its innovative visualization and analysis capabilities that advance scientific discovery.  The information system and science communities are invited to provide suggestions and requests as the development team continues to expand the portals’ tool suite to maximize scientific research.

Lastly, the authors would like to thank the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA’s SMD Science Engagement and Partnerships, the Advanced Explorations Systems Program of NASA’s Human Exploration Operations Directorate, and the Moons to Mars Mission Directorate for their support and guidance in the development of the Solar System Treks.

Solar System Treks Project Team:

Aaron Curtis, Eddie Arevalo, Bach Bui, George Chang, Heather Lethcoe, Natalie Gallegos, Richard Kim, Shan Malhotra, Mike Rueckert, Syed Sadaquthullah, Catherine Suh, Quic Vu, Dan Yu

How to cite: Law, E. and Day, B. and the Solar System Treks Project Team: Innovative visualization and analysis capabilities to advance scientific discovery, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-127,, 2019