Exploring the far reaches of space requires highly precise mission preparations. Since 2011 Airbus has developed the SurRender software, a precise and flexible image simulator, to support all development phases – from preliminary sizing and feasibility studies to integration and testing.

Particularly useful for the development and validation of vision-based navigation techniques, SurRender is used for many projects, including the development and validation of image processing algorithms for the European JUICE mission (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) and MSR ERO (Mars Sample Return Earth Return Orbiter). SurRender can also be used to simulate artificial objects such as satellites and rovers.

The SurRender Moon renderer is a high performance simulator able to produce high quality images and point clouds anywhere on the Moon in real time to enable the development of future Lunar missions.

Key features of SurRender:

  • The software handles various space objects such as planets, asteroids, stars, satellites and spacecraft. Solar system-sized scenes can be handled without precision loss.
  • Supported objects include Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), 3D meshes, analytical shapes, illumination sources, star maps.
  • Multi-resolution maps and DEMs, fusion of datasets with various projections models.
  • Detailed models of sensors (cameras, LiDAR) with validated radiometric and geometric models (global or rolling shutter, pupil size, gains, variable PSF, noises, etc.).
  • Physical image simulation with a ray tracer for the evaluation of algorithm performance and consolidation of sensor design.
  • Real-time image generation in OpenGL or even in raytracing for real-time testing of on-board software.
  • Camera emulation for electrical or optical stimulation of sensors.
  • All surface properties can be customized with user-specified reflectance models (BRDF), textures and normal maps. Projective models can be customized as well.
  • Addition of procedural details: fractal albedos, multi-scale elevation structures, 3D models, distributions of craters and rocks.
  • Flexible interface in client-server mode, cloud computing and multiple programming languages

Touch and go to the Moon

SurRender is a professional software and licenses can be granted for academic or commercial use.

SurRender Infographic


For detailed information about VBN solutions, contact     surrender.software@airbus.com