Spatial data help create optical vision of unexplored world

How did OPTIS transform the optical data collected by NASA & ESA in highly realistic images of the surface of this Saturn satellite?

September 12th, 2017 | Partnership


Titan unveiled many of its secrets thanks to the Cassini-Huygens space mission, launched in 1997. The Cassini orbiter sent the probe, Huygens, to land on Titan more than one and a half billion kilometers from Earth. Cassini has since sent precise data of its environment, collected by NASA and ESA. In theory, it is possible to use this data to learn more about the appearance of Titan.


The OPTIS company, which creates realistic visualizations of the real world from physical data, took up the challenge:

Our reaction to request was, if we can do it on Earth, we can do it on Titan," 

says Jacques Delacour,CEO and founder of OPTIS.


OPTIS used NASA and ESA data to recreate a realistic visualization of the light atmosphere and what a human could see on the surface of Titan, through physical simulation on High Performance computing (HPC) devices.

"Through these data, we knew how the sun illuminated Titan; we knew the spectral characteristics of its atmosphere and surface; but also how light is absorbed and diffused by the environment. We had all the necessary elements to simulate physically realistic renderings of the surface of Titan "

commented Vincent Hourdin, research engineer in charge of the TITAN project at OPTIS.

"We started with simple numbers, which we were able to transform into images with our cutting-edge technology. "


To close this project, Cassini-Huygens: the "Grand finale", held at the City of Science and Industry on September 15, will follow the Cassini scuttling live before attending the screening of the film Last call for Titan.


OPTIS will present its simulations of Titan as part of a virtual reality experience, offering participants an unprecedented, immersive exploration of Titan.




Read full press release" OPTIS reveal the true face of Titan" 

Relying on physics to get very accurate simulations


Photo Credit: AGAT Films & Cie©