Immersive Virtual Moon Scene System Based on Panoramic Camera Data of Chang'E-3

Friday, 19 December 2014
Xingye Gao, Jianjun Liu, Lingli Mu, Wei Yan, Xingguo Zeng, Xiaoxia Zhang and Chunlai Li, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
The system “Immersive Virtual Moon Scene” is used to show the virtual environment of Moon surface in immersive environment. Utilizing stereo 360-degree imagery from panoramic camera of Yutu rover, the system enables the operator to visualize the terrain and the celestial background from the rover’s point of view in 3D. To avoid image distortion, stereo 360-degree panorama stitched by 112 images is projected onto inside surface of sphere according to panorama orientation coordinates and camera parameters to build the virtual scene. Stars can be seen from the Moon at any time. So we render the sun, planets and stars according to time and rover’s location based on Hipparcos catalogue as the background on the sphere. Immersing in the stereo virtual environment created by this imaged-based rendering technique, the operator can zoom, pan to interact with the virtual Moon scene and mark interesting objects. Hardware of the immersive virtual Moon system is made up of four high lumen projectors and a huge curve screen which is 31 meters long and 5.5 meters high. This system which take all panoramic camera data available and use it to create an immersive environment, enable operator to interact with the environment and mark interesting objects contributed heavily to establishment of science mission goals in Chang'E-3 mission. After Chang'E-3 mission, the lab with this system will be open to public. Besides this application, Moon terrain stereo animations based on Chang'E-1 and Chang'E-2 data will be showed to public on the huge screen in the lab. Based on the data of lunar exploration,we will made more immersive virtual moon scenes and animations to help the public understand more about the Moon in the future.