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A new Enceladus global control network, image mosaic, and updated pointing kernels from Cassini's thirteen-year mission

September 24, 2018

NASA's Cassini spacecraft spent 13 years exploring the Saturn system, including 23 targeted flybys of the small, geologically active moon Enceladus. These flybys provided a wealth of image data from Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem. To improve the usability of the Enceladus data set, we created a new, global photogrammetric control network for Enceladus that enabled compilation of a versatile cartographic package to support geologic mapping and other investigations. The network used 586 images in four image filters with a pixel scale generally between 50 and 500 m per pixel and a phase angle less than 120° and consisted of 10,362 tie points and 173,704 individual image measures, averaging nearly 17 measures per tie point. Least squares bundle adjustment resulted in a root‐mean‐square residual of 0.45 pixel, corresponding to root‐mean‐square ground point uncertainties of 66, 51, and 46 m in latitude, longitude, and radius, respectively. Using our geodetic control network, we created new global image mosaics, coregistered flyby mosaics to support geologic mapping, and updated pointing kernels for every image used in the solution. These products, including the updated pointing kernels, are available to the community through NASA's Planetary Data System Imaging Annex. The bundle adjustment solution also yielded independently determined shape information, resulting in radii within the stated uncertainty of International Astronomical Union values. The challenges of the data set, and the technical methodology described here are applicable to bodies imaged during multiple flybys with variable viewing and illumination geometry, including other midsized satellites of Saturn, and the Europa Clipper mission.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title A new Enceladus global control network, image mosaic, and updated pointing kernels from Cassini's thirteen-year mission
DOI 10.1029/2018EA000399
Authors Michael T. Bland, Tammy L. Becker, Kenneth Edmundson, Thomas Roatsch, Brent Archinal, D. Takir, G. W. Patterson, G. C. Collins, P. M. Schenk, R. T. Pappalardo, Debbie Cook
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth and Space Science
Index ID 70212475
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center

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