Research Interests

Generally, I am fascinated by creative applications of 2D and 3D imaging and other remote sensing datasets to planetary surfaces. In particular, I am interested in:

  • quantitative and qualitative investigations of “stratigraphy” and geomorphology using orbital imagery and 3D visualisation tools
  • impact craters, their morphologies, and what they can tell us about the subsurface or interior of a planet
  • exploiting different data products or multi-resolution imagery to build map products
  • and equitable, research-based approaches to engagement using 3D imagery

Current Research

Processing, visualizing, and analyzing 3D Mars orbital and rover imagery for geological analysis, science target planning, and public engagement.


  • Stereo reconstruction for co-registered, multi-resolution 3D products of Gale Crater, Mars
  • 3D visualization and analysis of exposed layers in Gale Crater, Mars
  • Research-based equitable engagement of the public using 3D imaging of planetary surfaces
  • Processing and analysis of a CTX DTM of a terraced crater in the Cerberus Plains, Mars, for SHARAD data analysis (Xiong et al., in review)
  • Processing CTX and HRSC DTMs of Victoria Crater and Gale Crater for image simulations from a planetary penetrator descent camera (Brydon et al., submitted)
  • Rosalind Franklin (ExoMars) PanCam operations, ExoFit rover trials 1 and 2 (2018, 2019)


Brydon, G., Persaud, D. M., Jones, G., Deriving DTMs from a novel planetary penetrator imager: investigating vertically-separated stereo descent images through camera simulation. Submitted to AISR.

Xiong, S., Persaud, D. M., Campbell, J. D., Putri, A.D.R., Muller, J.-P. Subsurface reflections detected by SHARAD data revealing buried channels and islands over the Elysium Planitia. In review (Earth and Space Science).

Mueck, L., Palacios-Berraquero, C., and Persaud, D. M., Towards a quantum advantage, 2020, Physics World 33 (2), 17.

Palacios-Berraquero, C., Mueck, L., and D. M. Persaud, Instead of ‘supremacy’ use ‘quantum advantage.’ Nature 576, 213 (2019).

Conference proceedings

Persaud, D. M., Barnes, R., Tao, Y., Muller, J.-P., Remote 3D geological analysis of possible sedimentary layer geometries in upper Aeolis Mons, Gale Crater, Mars, Europlanets Science Congress, 21 September – 9 October 2020. Abstract #450. Oral presentation, virtual.

Persaud, D. M., Armstrong, E. S., Access-centred virtual conferencing for planetary science and beyond: reflections from Space Science in Context 2020, Europlanets Science Congress, 21 September – 9 October 2020. Abstract #211. Oral presentation, virtual.

Persaud, D. M., Coloniality and Planetary Science, Space Science in Context 2020. Oral presentation, virtual.

Persaud, D. M., Barnes, R., Tao, Y., Muller, J.-P., Stratigraphy in a channel in Gale Crater, Mars, from 3D HiRISE Imagery, British Planetary Science Conference, 2020. Oral presentation.

Persaud, D. M., Tao, Y., and Muller, J.-P., Multi-Resolution, Nested Orbital 3D Images of Gale Crater for Fused MSL Rover-Orbital Image Simulations. European Planetary Science Congress, Geneva, Switzerland, 16-20 September 2019. Abstract #1540. Oral presentation.

Persaud, D. M., Tao, Y., and Muller, J.-P., Super-resolution restored HiRISE images for simulating “rover’s eye” views in 3D. European Planetary Science Congress, TU Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 16-21 September 2018. Abstract #505. Poster.

Relevant Media

Previous Research

Impact Cratering on Icy satellites (2014, 2016)

NSF REU in Astrobiology, SETI Institute
Summer Internship Program, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Tested methods of estimating initial crater depths of Saturn’s moons Rhea and Dione using Cassini ISS digital elevation models (DEMs)
  • Investigated stereo methods for icy moon topography
  • Produced crater size catalogs of four Saturnian moons
  • Ongoing: assessment of methods of estimating initial crater depths of icy bodies

Persaud, D. M., Phillips, C. B., Methods of Estimating Initial Crater Depths on Icy Satellites using Stereo Topography, AGU Fall Meeting, 15-19 December, 2014. Oral presentation.

HOMER Mission Concept development (2015-2016)

NASA Ames Academy for Space Exploration, NASA Ames Research Center
Senior honors thesis, University of Rochester

Designed a smallsat-scale ground penetrating radar (GPR)/synthetic aperture radar (SAR) hybrid multistatic system for the detection of lava tube systems on Mars; investigated and selected regions of interest and designed science mission; served as project manager in final two weeks to prepare technical manuscript.

Persaud, D. M., et al., 2016, HOMER: a smallsat ground penetrating radar sounding fleet to map planetary surfaces at high resolution, 47th Lunar and Planetary Conference. Poster.

Wu, T. S., Persaud, D. M., et al., Subsurface Feature Mapping of Mars using a High Resolution Ground Penetrating Radar System, AGU Fall Meeting, 14-18 December 2015. Poster.

Paleomagnetism Group, University of Rochester (2012-2016)

Independent study

Used scanning electron microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy to characterize the matrix composition of Allende meteorite samples; identified rare chromite mineral species

NSF REU in Physics

Prepared and ran hysteresis and thermal demagnetization tests on impact glass samples to determine whether a magnetic field was generated by the Darwin impact


Documented and prepared Fukang pallasite meteorite samples for magnetic tests

Summer intern, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (2011, 2012)

Adapting a method of passive radiometry used with the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) for use with the Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) to generate a reflectance map of the surface of Mercury at the 1064 nm wavelength.