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Recent planetary topographic mapping at the USGS, Flagstaff: Moon, Mars, Venus, and beyond

July 1, 2000

We are currently using stereophotogrammetric techniques to compile digital topographic models of parts of the Moon, Mars, Venus, and the asteroid Eros in support of the NASA program of planetary exploration. This work requires the synergistic use of the USGS digital cartographic software system ISIS for data ingestion and calibration steps, along with the commercial software SOCET SET for “photogrammetric” steps such as adjustment of control and topographic model extraction and editing. Novel procedures must frequently be developed to deal with problems of planetary datasets such as the need to use large numbers of small images, nonuniform image coverage, poor image overlap, and lack of true ground control. Some sensors, such as the Magellan Synthetic Aperture Radar, also require the development of specialized sensor model software.

An important theme of our work is the complementarity between photogrammetric techniques and the laser altimeter systems coming into increasing use on planetary spacecraft. Stereoanalysis of Clementine images of the Moon has been used to fill in major gaps in the altimeter dataset at high latitudes, but the stereo data must be tied to the altimetry where the datasets overlap. For Mars and Eros, our stereomapping provides spatial sampling of topography finer than that achieved by altimetry, but use of the altimetry data for vertical control can significantly improve the absolute accuracy of photogrammetric topographic models.

Publication Year 2000
Title Recent planetary topographic mapping at the USGS, Flagstaff: Moon, Mars, Venus, and beyond
Authors Randolph L. Kirk, Elpitha Howington-Kraus, Mark R. Rosiek
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70201975
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center