Artificial Intelligence: AI Detects Newly-Formed Craters On Mars In Seconds

August 30, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News

Imagine manually scanning 112,000 photos of Mars for crater formations.

Scientists can estimate the age of old craters on the surface of Mars by looking at the characteristics of new ones that have been captured as images by the Context Camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). But its tricky to pinpoint which image(s) depict new craters – especially if you have to manually scan the 112K lower-resolution images taken by the MRO over the past 15 years. But an AI algorithm can do the job incredibly faster. (BIG THINK)

Scanning manually, if a scientist finds a new crater in the MRO images, then the discovery is confirmed by referring a higher-resolution photograph taken by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), another instrument on board the MRO.

How the AI does it

To avoid the laborious and time-consuming manual process, researchers have trained an AI algorithm to analyze the MRO images of Mars’ surface. It takes only five seconds to scan an image and deliver a result.

The researchers fed the algo about 7,000 images taken by the Context Camera and trained to distinguish craters – notably, each image covers hundreds of miles of the surface of Mars.

The researchers then ran the AI and images on a supercomputer cluster at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with computers processing the task in parallel.

“It wouldn’t be possible to process over 112,000 images in a reasonable amount of time without distributing the work across many computers,” JPL computer scientist Gary Doran said in October. “The strategy is to split the problem into smaller pieces that can be solved in parallel.”

The result: the average time taken by the AI was only 5 seconds per image, compared to about 40 minutes for a scientist scanning manually.

Scientists can now study craters that were formed on Mars as far back as 15 years. These would yield valuable information for estimating the age of much older craters.

Related Story: AI Crunches Simulations Of The Cosmos Into Minutes

Feature Image: Mars – A Pair of New Impact Craters                                                  

Free Industry News

Subscribe to our free newsletter for updates and news about alternatives investments.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Latest Alternative Investment News
FinTech: India’s PayTM Gets Heat From Proxy Advisory Firm
August 12, 2022     FinTech, News

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services India Ltd. (IiAS) has issued a note ahead of PayTM’s (NSE: PAYTM) annual shareholders’ meeting on August 19 calling for the replacement of…
Venture Capital: Lockheed’s Venture Arm To Boost Investment In Space Startups
August 12, 2022     News, Venture Capital

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and its venture finance arm Lockheed Martin Ventures plans to boost the latter’s investment outlay from $200 million to $400 million.
Digital Assets: Brazilian Fintech PicPay Launches Crypto Exchange With Paxos

PicPay, the well-known Brazilian payment app, has got its shoe in the crypto door in partnership with Paxos, a leading regulated blockchain infrastructure company. Picpay is opening crypto trading services…
FinTech: Telecom Behemoth BT Adds Barclaycard Payments To Partnership Network For Micro-Businesses
August 12, 2022     FinTech, News

BT (LON: BT.A), the telecom major, announced that Barclaycard Payments had joined its partnership network seeking to help the growth of UK microbusinesses. BT customers with 0-5 employees would get…