OSIRIS Image Viewer
The Rosetta space mission was launched on 2nd March 2004. For the first time ever a probe was to accompany a comet over a period of several years, gathering data. Equipped with a battery of scientific measuring instruments and a landing module, which was set down on the surface of the comet during the mission, Rosetta was also carrying the OSIRIS camera system developed by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen.
During the course of the mission both cameras, wide-angle and telephoto, took over 100,000 photos, primarily of the comet's core and tail, but also of Earth, Mars, two asteroids and a number of other celestial bodies. More than anything else Dr. Holger Sierks and his MPS camera team wanted to make the photos available to as wide an audience as possible. Planetgate.mps.mpg.de, the website that had been used to date, left a lot to be desired. It allowed the images to be downloaded with no trouble whatsoever, but offered no ways of searching the archive, or filtering, sorting and viewing the images on the web.
The objective of the one-year research project within the Master's programme in Applied Computer Science was to design an image archiving system and an image viewer with which even computer novices could manipulate and explore the enormous archives. A prototype was launched first so that the design could be evaluated under realistic conditions.