Systematic Processing of High Resolution Topography of Venus from Magellan Radar Stereo Data and Science Applications

Konferenz: EUSAR 2016 - 11th European Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar
06.06.2016 - 09.06.2016 in Hamburg, Germany

Tagungsband: EUSAR 2016

Seiten: 4Sprache: EnglischTyp: PDF

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Hensley, Scott; Mitchell, Karl; Nunes, Daniel; Shaffer, Scott; Deen, Robert; Parcheta, Carolyn; Rusert, Maria (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA)

Magellan, a NASA mission to Venus in the early 1990’s, mapped nearly the entire surface of Venus with an S-band (12 cm) synthetic aperture radar and microwave radiometer and made radar altimeter measurements of the topography. These measurements revolutionized our understanding of the geomorphology, geology and geophysical processes that have shaped the evolution of the surface of Venus. However, the lack of finer resolution topography of the surface than that obtained by the Magellan mission has hampered the definitive answer to key questions concerning the processes and evolution of the surface of Venus. Cratering, surface/atmospheric interactions, volcanism and interior dynamics, to name a few, all leave their imprint on the relief of planetary surfaces in grandiose (e.g., Maxwell Montes on Venus) to subtle fashion (e.g., quasi-circular depressions on Mars). Though significant morphological work and interpretation can be done in the absence of topographic data, major assumptions and uncertainties likely remain. As part of the Magellan mission approximately 25% of the planet was mapped in radar stereo. We describe a newly NASA funded effort to systematically process all the Magellan stereo data using a rigorous stereo sensor model and automated matching routines. These results are compared to previous stereo results and some possible science applications of the stereo results are presented.