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Multi-Beam Surface Lidar for Lunar and Planetary MappingSurface lidar techniques are now being demonstrated in low Earth orbit with a single beam of pulsed laser radiation at 1064 nm that profiles the vertical structure of Earth surface landforms along the nadir track of a spacecraft. In addition, a profiling laser altimeter, called MOLA, is operating in elliptical Martian orbit and returning surface topography data. These instruments form the basis for suggesting an improved lidar instrument that employs multiple beams for extension of sensor capabilities toward the goal of true, 3-dimensional mapping of the Moon or other similar planetary surfaces. In general the lidar waveform acquired with digitization of a laser echo can be used for laser distance measurement (i.e. range-to-the-surface) by time-of-flight measurement and for surface slope and shape measurements by examining the detailed lidar waveform. This is particularly effective when the intended target is the lunar surface or another planetary body free of any atmosphere. The width of the distorted return pulse is a first order measure of the surface incidence angle, a combination of surface slope and laser beam pointing. Assuming an independent and absolute (with respect to inertial space) measurement of laser beam pointing on the spacecraft, it is possible to derive a surface slope with-respect-to the mean planetary surface or its equipotential gravity surface. Higher-order laser pulse distortions can be interpreted in terms of the vertical relief of the surface or reflectivity variations within the area of the laser beam footprint on the surface.
Document ID
19980236816
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Bufton, Jack L. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Garvin, James B. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 18, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: Nineteenth International Laser Radar Conference
Issue: Part 2
Subject Category
Instrumentation and Photography
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19980236718Analytic PrimaryNineteenth International Laser Radar Conference
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