USGS Astrogeology Planetary Photogrammetry Lab

Science Center Objects

Digital Terrain Models and Orthorectified Images Produced by the U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Planetary Photogrammetry Lab offers a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and orthorectified image production service to the scientific community to supply NASA-selected investigators with high-quality HiRISE DTMs and orthorectified HiRISE images. This effort replaces the “Photogrammetry Guest Facility” formerly operated by the USGS Astrogeology Science Center. This service is funded directly by NASA and is offered at no charge to NASA-selected investigations through the ROSES program.

DTM Request Requirements:

Principal Investigators who submit proposals through ROSES that include the production of a HiRISE DTM by the USGS should clearly indicate this intention in the Proposal Summary, as well as in the text of the proposal. Proposers who request a USGS-produced DTM and orthorectified images for their investigation are required to include a Confirmation of Technical Specifications letter, obtained from the USGS Astrogeology Planetary Photogrammetry Lab, in their Step-2 (full) proposal. To obtain this document, Investigators shall provide to the USGS the (1) latitude/longitude center reference point of each requested DTM (2) acknowledgment of 1.0 to 2.0 meter/pixel expected resolution of the requested DTM, (3) Primary and alternate HiRISE image stereopairs for each investigative site, (4) acknowledgement of equirectangular or polar stereographic (as required by latitude range of DTM) projection of the DTM products, and (5) other data as requested by the USGS. This document is only a confirmation of USGS support and does not fulfill the requirement that the investigative effort be described and justified within the body of the proposal. Selection of a proposal for funding is contingent upon the inclusion of this document.


The investigator is responsible for identification and selection of HiRISE image stereopairs using the following criteria.


  • Solar incidence angle between 40 and 65 degrees, up to 85 degrees in the polar regions
  • Convergence angle between 7 and 40 degrees
  • Solar separation (azimuth difference) less than 40 degrees
  • Stereo overlap greater than 30%
  • Targeted HiRISE stereopairs


The HiRISE mission team maintains a list of targeted stereo observations at, which typically meet the above criteria. The PDS Geoscience Node also provides a map-based search of HiRISE anaglyphs, which can be used as a proxy for identifying targeted HiRISE stereopairs:


The USGS will limit the number of DTMs produced annually for each proposal to three. Exceptions to this limitation shall be considered by the USGS on a case-by-case basis and may require multi-year DTM production schedules. Investigators are encouraged to contact the USGS early in the ROSES proposal preparation process and no later than 3 weeks prior to the Step-2 proposal submittal deadline as defined in Tables 2 and 3 of this ROSES NRA. To request further information pertaining to DTM generation by the USGS, contact Astrogeology staff at Include the words “MDAP_DTM_REQUEST” in the email subject line. 

Jezero crater

Jezero crater shaded relief