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Spaceborne radar observations: A guide for Magellan radar-image analysisGeologic analyses of spaceborne radar images of Earth are reviewed and summarized with respect to detecting, mapping, and interpreting impact craters, volcanic landforms, eolian and subsurface features, and tectonic landforms. Interpretations are illustrated mostly with Seasat synthetic aperture radar and shuttle-imaging-radar images. Analogies are drawn for the potential interpretation of radar images of Venus, with emphasis on the effects of variation in Magellan look angle with Venusian latitude. In each landform category, differences in feature perception and interpretive capability are related to variations in imaging geometry, spatial resolution, and wavelength of the imaging radar systems. Impact craters and other radially symmetrical features may show apparent bilateral symmetry parallel to the illumination vector at low look angles. The styles of eruption and the emplacement of major and minor volcanic constructs can be interpreted from morphological features observed in images. Radar responses that are governed by small-scale surface roughness may serve to distinguish flow types, but do not provide unambiguous information. Imaging of sand dunes is rigorously constrained by specific angular relations between the illumination vector and the orientation and angle of repose of the dune faces, but is independent of radar wavelength. With a single look angle, conditions that enable shallow subsurface imaging to occur do not provide the information necessary to determine whether the radar has recorded surface or subsurface features. The topographic linearity of many tectonic landforms is enhanced on images at regional and local scales, but the detection of structural detail is a strong function of illumination direction. Nontopographic tectonic lineaments may appear in response to contrasts in small-surface roughness or dielectric constant. The breakpoint for rough surfaces will vary by about 25 percent through the Magellan viewing geometries from low to high Venusian latitudes. Examples of anomalies and system artifacts that can affect image interpretation are described.
Document ID
19900013510
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Authors
Ford, J. P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Blom, R. G.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Crisp, J. A.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Elachi, Charles
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Farr, T. G.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Saunders, R. Stephen
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Theilig, E. E.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Wall, S. D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Yewell, S. B.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1989
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:184998
NASA-CR-184998
JPL-PUBL-89-41
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS7-918
PROJECT: RTOP 844-20-00-30-02
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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