shapeViewer is a publicly available scientific software designed to display a 3D model of a
comet/asteroid, simulate observations from a space mission, project data on the shape.
It provides a series of tools specifically developed for mapping and geomorphological investigation.
shapeViewer has been used for operations planning and scientific analysis by the camera teams of Rosetta (ESA)
and Dawn (NASA) missions. We currently support the AIDA project: DART (NASA) + Hera (ESA), and Comet Interceptor (ESA).
interactive visualization of asteroid and comets shape models, with photometrically accurate rendering,
high performance: switch to a new mission or load shapes with 1+ million facets in less than a second, runs at 60 FPS on a standard laptop,
real time rendering of operational scenarios, spacecraft orbit and attitude pre-configured for each mission,
retrieval of observation geometry and solar angles (incidence, emission, phase, elevation),
calculation and display of the gravity field and effective slopes on the surface,
accurate projection of images and other datasets on the shape, individually or in a user-defined sequence (on the fly, no need for any preprocessing of the data),
view and export cylindrical, orthographic maps,
… and many other features
Screenshots and movies
NavCam image (2016-02-10T08:32:02)
shapeViewer simulation of the same view
Visualizations can be exported as individual frames and assembled in a movie. In software,
one can interrupt the "movie" at any time to look at the shape from other angles or change parameters.
Projected NAC color data from Oklay et al, A&A (2016)
Southern hemisphere of asteroid Itokawa
Image mosaic projected on asteroid Vesta.
Shading describes gravitational slopes.
Same view as a map, with one of the mutiple projections provided
Download and install
shapeViewer is supported on Windows 10 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 64 bits systems.
Users of other Linux distributions and MacOS can run the Windows executable through the WINE interface (albeit slowly).
A graphic card supporting at least OpenGL 2.0 is necessary (usually true if your computer was built after 2004).
shapeViewer is provided as a single zip file. Extract it in the folder of your choice, and run the executable file for your system.