Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Validation of the USGS sensor model for topographic mapping of Venus using Magellan radar stereoimagery

December 19, 2001

The Magellan spacecraft went into Venus orbit in 1990 and by 1992 had made three complete cycles of polar orbits, each cycle covering the full range of longitudes. During this time the spacecraft obtained synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images of >96% of the planet at a resolution of 75 m/pixel. Images taken with a decreased look angle from vertical, primarily during Cycle 3, provide stereo coverage of 17% of the planet when combined with images with same-side illumination from earlier in the mission. The stereo geometry of these images is extremely favorable, allowing elevation measurements with an estimated vertical precision (EP) of ~10 m. Magellan also obtained radar altimetry data at a horizontal resolution of 10x25 km, but photogrammetric analysis of the stereoimagery can yield topographic maps with a horizontal resolution more than an order of magnitude superior to that of the altimeter.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2001
Title Validation of the USGS sensor model for topographic mapping of Venus using Magellan radar stereoimagery
Authors Elpitha Howington-Kraus, Randolph L. Kirk, Donna M. Galuszka, Trent M. Hare, Bonnie L. Redding
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70201655
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center