ERDAS APOLLO Serves Mission Data from Saturn and Mars Exploration

Norcross, GA — ERDAS announces that the Italian Space Agency (ASI) is using ERDAS APOLLO to manage data collected from different space missions and deliver it for public consumption via a web portal.

ASI is collaborating with the ESA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the Cassini-Huygens, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) missions. The Cassini-Huygens mission primarily focuses on two of Saturn’s moons, Titan and Enceladus, as well as Saturn itself. So far, the mission has found evidence of heat and organic chemicals and the possibility of liquid water on the surface of Enceladus, indicating the potential for the formation of primitive life forms. Cassini, the orbiter component of Cassini-Huygens, carries 12 instruments which have returned a daily stream of data since arriving at Saturn in 2004. Huygens, the smaller probe portion of Cassini-Huygens, landed on Titan’s surface in 2005 and returns data about Titan’s vast methane lakes and hydrocarbon sand dunes.

The primary objective of the Mars Express mission is to investigate the basic characteristics of Mars. The Mars Express orbiter will create high-resolution imagery (10 meters/pixel) of the entire Martian surface and super resolution imagery (2 meters/pixel) of selected areas. It will also produce a map of the mineral composition of the surface at 100 meter resolution, map the composition of the atmosphere and determine its global circulation, determine the structure of the sub-surface to a depth of a few kilometers, determine the effect of the atmosphere on the planetary surface, and determine how the atmosphere interacts with the solar wind. Mars Express spends a portion of its orbit facing Mars to collect data, and the other part facing the Earth to transmit data back to ground stations. Every day, the ground stations receive between 0.5 and 5 Gbits of scientific data from Mars Express.

The main objective of the MRO mission is to investigate the presence of water on Mars. Other Mars missions have shown that water existed on Mars’ surface in the past, but scientists still don’t know whether water was around long enough to foster development of life. MRO is taking close-up photographs of the Martian surface, analyzing minerals, searching for subsurface water, measuring the dust and water content of the atmosphere, and monitoring daily weather conditions.

The Planetary Radar Operation Center (PROC) is an ASI program designed to unify the operative centers of these missions, providing a single access point for the massive amount of collected data. Planetek Italia, authorized ERDAS distributor in Italy since 2007, assisted PROC in its search for a data management and delivery solution.

ERDAS APOLLO is the market leading enterprise solution for managing and delivering massive volumes of distributed geospatial data and imagery. This server-based offering is available in three product tiers to suit a wide spectrum of organizations – from those that simply need a very low-cost, exceptionally fast image server to those requiring a comprehensive data management system.

ERDAS APOLLO Essentials – Image Web Server was ultimately selected for the PROC program because it can efficiently and quickly publish the radargrams and interplanetary maps. Now, after mission data is processed in the individual operating centers, ERDAS APOLLO will be used to catalog it and publish it to the web portal. Then, the scientific community and the public at large will be able to access the data via GeoRSS and OGC web services such as WMS, WFS, WCS, and WMC.

For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 877 GO ERDAS, or visit

ERDAS – The Earth to Business Company – helps organizations harness the information of the changing earth for greater advantage. ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process and share that information from anywhere. Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams. Welcome to ERDAS: a trusted name, with a new energy, and a new vision. Earth to business starts here. ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit